- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 9, 2011

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Glynn County officials are trying to raise the money needed to turn the historic Brunswick-Altamaha Canal into a recreation venue for kayakers, canoeists, bicyclists and hikers.

The county has applied for $35 million in public and private grants, including a $30 million grant from a private foundation.

The canal was dug by slaves and Irish immigrants between 1830 and 1854 to transport cargo, but that use was abandoned after railroads were built.

A committee of county officials, community leaders and environmental experts has been considering a variety of ideas to possibly incorporate into the project.

A starting date will hinge on finding funds to get the first phase of clearing out of the trails under way. Officials don’t expect any work to start in the next 12 months.

The initiative encountered a setback when the state denied the county’s request for $100,000 for trail improvements. The county plans to redo its application and resubmit it in the fall.

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