The Board of Directors of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L) and National Canal Museum (NCM) have signed a formal alliance agreement aboard the Josiah White II Canal Boat in Hugh Moore Park.

"Our alliance uniquely combines the congressionally-mandated National Park Service (NPS) programa private-public effort which brings together stakeholders and partners to connect, revitalize and preserve the important cultural, historic and recreational aspects of our communitieswith the archives, artifacts and publications of the Museum and its members.,'" says Elissa Garofalo, President of the D&L.

According to Tom Stoneback, Vice President for Special Projects "We're linking "federal power of National Park Service with the story telling prowess of the Smithsonian-affiliated Museum''and you! Smithsonian Institution calls our effort 'inspirational'. The National Park Service noted it as 'very impressive". American Alliance of Museums (AAM) calls us 'ahead of our time'.

The partnership will combine the Heritage Corridor's reach through five countiesLuzerne, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Buckswith the Museum's resources which document the role anthracite canals played in creating the American iron industry and triggering the Industrial Revolution in the United States

Established by an act of Congress, for 25 years the DLNHC has focused on establishing the trail... creating a public access corridor which runs through every city, town and township from the coal fields of the Poconos to the port outside Philadelphia. It allows residents and visitors to enjoy our beautiful country side, charming communities and historic riverswhether by foot, bicycle, car or canoe. And in the process it brings people onto main streets and historic back yards of the entire 165 mile corridor ... generates over 3300 jobs and $240 million in annual economic development...and daily we celebrate the heritage which shows that America was built here!

"There is more work to do on the D&L Trail, but today our emphasis has expanded toward telling and celebrating the stories of our heritage … Our recognized role as leaders in American industry." Says Nick Forte, D&L Board Chairman.

The Museum's mission has been to conserve the hundreds of thousands of artifacts and archives which tell the story of America's Industrial Revolution which launched our community in the mid 1800's. We were the center of iron production in the world thanks to the development of systematic canal and rail transportation. The people of our region made outstanding contributions to our growing nation's social and industrial growth, particularly from 1817-1930. The National Canal Museum collection holds the coal, coke, steel, rail, cement and textile stories of the period.

NCM Chairman Peter Marmaras commented "Together with the Heritage Corridor we will be able to better tell this inspiring story of local leadership ...and celebrate our role in building America. In our classrooms, on main streets and in communities throughout the Corridor, the timing is perfect for this union."

The Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is a 5Ol(c) (3) nonprofit organization.

Garofalo said, "Its mission is to enrich communities through programs and partnerships that conserve the resources, preserve the history, and enhance the quality of life. Hugh Moore Historical Park and Museum is a Smithsonian-affiliated organization located in the heart of the Corridor at the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers and canals."

She added, "It's where geography and geology met human genius and energya seminal location which transformed the United States from a rural, agricultural society into an industrial power. The industrial revolution began, and America was, literally, built here."