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Great Lakes-Seaway News' purpose is to provide news, critical information updates, and thoughtful commentary to those who care about the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System specifically, and the maritime industry in general. It is important that Great Lakes-Seaway News also become a forum and online meeting place so that ideas can be presented, issues can be debated and relationships can be made to advance the seaway system’s interests for now and for the future.

Therefore, Great Lakes Seaway News will serve as the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System's newspaper, its online bulletin board, its meeting place for innovation and discussion, and its clubhouse for the development of plans and activities which will serve those who participate in the online marketplace of ideas.

Great Lakes-Seaway News is an independent publication and as such, is not affiliated in any way with the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or any other agencies of the governments of the United States of America or Canada. 

Great Lakes-Seaway News is a publication of PRI Strategy Management, Inc.  All rights reserved.



Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) To Retire from Congress

Earlier this week, Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the chairman of the committee's Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Transit announced he will seek re-election this November after 35 years in Congress.  Petri, 73, whose retirement had been rumored for several weeks, made a formal announcement of his decision not to run again on Monday in Neenah, WI.  

Petri has represented the Sixth District of Wisconsin since 1979, making him second in seniority in the Wisconsin congressional delegation, one the most senior members of Congress representing a Great Lakes state. 

Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) had announced that he would challenge Petri for the GOP nomination for the Sixth Congressional District seat in Congress this year.  Grothman now becomes the clear favorite to win the seat in November.

Petri's announcement brings the total number of open congressional seats this year to 44.  Twenty-five of those seats are now or were recently occupied by Republicans and 19 of the seats are now or were controlled by Democrats.


Seaway Corporations Ease Season Opening Transit Restrictions

Yesterday the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation and the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation jointly issued two "Notices to Mariners" (numbers 9 and 10 respectively for 2014) lifting certain restrictions for ships using the St. Lawrence Seaway.  

Seaway Notice to Mariners Number 9 concerning the maximum allowable drafts on the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the international waterway reads as follows:

In the Montreal to Lake Ontario section, the maximum allowable draft is increased to 80.8 dm (26' 06"), subject to favourable water elevations, effective April 14, 2014. This increase applies to all vessels. In addition, there will be zero tolerance for ship's draft in excess of 80.8 dm (26' 6").

Mariners are reminded that for ships loaded to a draft greater than 80.0 dm (26' 3"), speeds will be monitored carefully between St. Lambert Lock and St. Nicolas Island.

Seway Notice to Mariners Number 10 concerning transit restrictions at the opening of the 2014 navigation season (Draft and Power to Length Ratio) says:

Mariners are advised that the transit restrictions (draft and power to length ratio) outlined in Seaway Notice No. 2 of 2014 no longer apply.


This Week's Poll Question


Ice May Be Slowing Down Great Lakes, But Port of Milwaukee Bustles

Near-record ice cover continues to slow things down as the 2014 Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season slowly gets moving. 

While it is still slow going in many of the locks and navigation channels of the waterway, the Port of Milwaukee has been bustling with activity.

Here is a sampling of some of the activity at the Port this week:

  • The Alpena, a Lafarge cement vessel, arrived on Wednesday for her second trip of the season to Milwaukee from Alpena, Michigan.
  • The Innovation, another Lafarge cement vessel, arrived on Tuesday, discharged her cargo and departed.
  • Canada Steamship Lines' Trillium Class, self-unloading, dry-bulk laker Thunder Bay arrived at the Port of Milwaukee's Terminal One this week bringing the first salt cargo of the navigation season to replenish stores which were completely depleted during this year's historically long and harsh winter.
  • The Great Lakes Fleet's US-flag vessel Arthur Anderson was at the Port's Greenfield Avenue dock this week to discharge the port's first coal shipment of the season.
  • The CSL Niagra visited the port this week while waiting for a US Coast Guard icebreaking escort.
  • American Steamship Line's 1,000 foot U.S. flag laker Indiana Harbor which had wintered at the Port of Milwaukee departed for its first voyage of the season.
  • The last of the ships to winter-over at the port, Lafarge's Integrity, which is not as ice strengthened as Lafarge's Innovation or Alpena, is preparing to embark on her first voyage of the season, as ice conditions permit.

Lawmakers Seek to Restore Cuts to Great Lakes Restoration Efforts

A bipartisan group of 46 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have joined together to oppose an effort by the Obama administration to substantially cut funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).  President Obama proposed cutting the budget for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which cleans up pollution and restores fish and wildlife habitats in the Great Lakes region from $300 million to $275 million, a spending cut of nine percent.

Thirty-seven Democrats and nine Republicans representing districts in Great Lakes states sent a letter to the committee considering the GLRI funding plan. , including 37 Democrats and nine Republicans.

While it may not be unusually to see members of the opposition party attack the President's budget proposals, it is somewhat unusual to see such as large number of Democrats buck a proposal made by the Obama White House.

The letter signed by the bipartisan group of lawmakers says, “The [GLRI] inter-agency program provides funding to address vital environmental issues in the Great Lakes, such as cleaning up contaminated sediments, reducing polluted runoff, mitigating habitat degradation and loss, and addressing invasive species such as the Asian carp. The program has invested $1.6 billion in Great Lakes restoration over the last five years."

The letter went on to state, “The lakes are also an economic driver, supporting 1.5 million jobs and generating $62 billion in wages annually. The Great Lakes fishery alone is valued at $7 billion a year. The Lakes also support commerce, agriculture, transportation, and tourism. For all these reasons, we believe Great Lakes restoration must remain a priority,” adding, “More than a century of environmental damage has taken a significant toll on the Great Lakes, which have struggled to overcome toxic substances contamination, habitat loss, invasive species, and beach closings.”