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February 06, 2024

Trone, Cardin Bill to Renew C&O Canal National Historical Park Advisory Commission Overwhelmingly Passes U.S. House


February 6, 2024

Trone, Cardin Bill to Renew C&O Canal National Historical Park Advisory Commission Overwhelmingly Passes U.S. House

Maryland, West Virginia, and District of Columbia members of Congress united to support bipartisan renewal of the advisory commission for the C&O Canal National Park that connects through all three jurisdictions

Congressman David Trone delivers a floor speech in support of the effort

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tonight, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed Congressman David Trone’s (D-MD) legislation to renew the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal National Historical Park Federal Advisory Commission. For more than 40 years, the Advisory Commission has provided a vital link between the surrounding communities and the National Park Service, which manages the operations, maintenance, and restoration of the C&O Canal National Historical Park.

Congressman Trone was joined in support by Representatives Alex Mooney (R-WV), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA) and Gerald Connolly (D-VA).

The companion bill was led by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) in the Senate. He was joined in support by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA).

“The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Federal Advisory Commission has a decades-long, proven record of ensuring the continued growth and maintenance of this valued park, and I’m honored to represent so many Maryland communities that benefit from it,” said Congressman Trone. “With its work reauthorized for another 10 years, I look forward to working with the Commission and its continued efforts to protect its numerous native species and ensure every American can enjoy, explore, and protect our parks for generations to come.”

“There is no better wealth of knowledge of the unique issues the C&O Canal and its resources face than the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Advisory Commission,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “History has shown us what happens when we do not listen to the people who know their home best, and this commission ensures that all surrounding communities have a voice in shaping their future. I’m proud to work together with our neighboring delegations to keep this commission running strong.”

The C&O Canal National Historical Park is 184.5 miles long and covers 20,000 acres winding north and west along the Potomac River from the heart of Washington D.C. to Cumberland, MD.  The park’s watered canal, contiguous towpath (which is popular among cyclists, backpackers, day hikers and runners), hundreds of historic structures and pre-Civil War-era towns like Hancock, Hagerstown, Williamsport and Sharpsburg; all tell the story of how the C&O Canal once served as a crucial East/West commercial link. The park also preserves pristine views of the Potomac River, evocative of the C&O Canal’s working days.

In 2021, more than 5 million people visited the C&O Canal National Historical Park, making it Maryland’s most popular national park. Tourism related to the park has generated an estimated $161 million for surrounding businesses and towns, supporting 1,360 jobs.  Much of the park’s success is attributed to the positive relationship and goodwill that has developed over the years between the NPS and local community leaders through the Advisory Commission.

The Advisory Commission was first established in 1971 as part of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Development Act. Every 10 years Congress must reauthorize the Advisory Commission, which has been reauthorized three times with overwhelming congressional support. Without intervention, the Commission will expire on Sept. 26, 2024. The Advisory Commission operates at a nominal cost, serving in a purely advisory role to the National Park Service. Senator Cardin and then-Rep. Van Hollen introduced companion bills to reauthorize the commission in the 111th Congress.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Budget, and Joint Economic Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders.

Follow Congressman Trone at @RepDavidTrone for updates on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.