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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.


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U.S. Senate Fails to Act on Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Before Adjourning 

A bill that would have authorized as much as $300 million in spending for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a Great Lakes environmental cleanup program, was killed as the U.S. Senate failed to act on the measure before adjourning the 113th Congress.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative authorization last week, but the Senate adjourned without voting on the bill, killing the measure until the next Congress can act on it.

The U.S. government has already spent $1.6 billion on the program since it began in 2010.  Projects to battle invasive species, clean harbors and rivers, upgrade wildlife habitat and reduce near-shore pollution have been funded by the Initiative during the last four years.

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) the chief sponsor of the measure that passed the House said, "The Great Lakes are a national treasure. Not only do they pack an economic punch, it is environmentally important to the region that we preserve and protect them. This bill has broad bipartisan support, and I plan to introduce it again upon my return back to Congress."


Government of Canada Invests in New Navigation Aids on the St. Lawrence 

This morning, the Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and MP for Lévis-Bellechasse and Les Etchemins, announced a major investment on behalf of the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, to modernize aids to navigation on the St. Lawrence.

Spread over five years, an investment of 7.8 million Canadian dollars will be made to purchase and deploy 185 next-generation, four-season buoys between the cities of Québec and Montréal along the St. Lawrence River. This project is in support of the Government of Canada's commitment to strengthen Canada's navigation safety systems.

The 185 new four-season buoys will be illuminated, resistant to severe ice conditions, and adapted to the special navigation conditions in the St. Lawrence.

Currently, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) maintains two series of buoys, which require buoy tending in the spring and fall.  The CCG plans to conduct a thorough assessment of the placement of aids to navigation on the St. Lawrence River and will consult with industry partners to determine the placement of the new, four-season buoys.

"Our government is committed to strengthening marine safety in order to protect the public and the environment, particularly in the St. Lawrence. One of the cornerstones of this commitment is the modernization of aids to navigation. With cutting-edge aids to navigation, it will be much easier for mariners to confirm their position in harsh conditions in order to further reduce the risk of grounding and collision. Through these actions, the Canadian Coast Guard will continue to be a world leader in marine safety," said Minister Blaney.

"The Shipping Federation of Canada applauds this measure for its contribution to enhancing navigation safety. Having illuminated buoys in this navigational area year round will not only make navigation safer, but will also improve its flow. We also believe that this waterway deserves buoyage comparable to the systems in place in other shipping routes across the country so that trade can occur in safe conditions," added Jean-François Belzile, Director of Marine Operations, Shipping Federation of Canada.


St. Lawrence Seaway Cargo Tonnage Posts Increase Over 2013

According to figures released by the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC), through the end of November, overall combined cargo tonnage moved through the St. Lawrence Seaway system during the 2014 navigation season is 4.9 percent greater than last year at this time.

The SLSMC says that 34,587,000 metric tons of cargo has moved through the locks of the the St. Lawrence Seaway this year, an increase of 1,626,000 metric tons.

Combined Canadian and U.S. grain exports are up by nearly up more than 44.4 percent, from 7,018,000 tons through the end of last November 2013 to 10,131,000 tons through November 30 of this year.

General cargo moved through the St. Lawrence Seaway increased by 81 percent, from 1,539,000 metric tons at the end of November last year to 2,787,000 tons this year.

Not all the news about Seaway tonnage this year was good.  Iron ore tonnage decreased by nearly 30 percent compared to last year at during the same time period, from 8,877,000 tons through November 2013 to 6,218,000 tons this year.


Steel Tonnage Boosts Business at Port of Milwaukee 

The Port of Milwaukee has posted one of the strongest years in decades as steel tonnage coming into the port this year hit the second-highest level since 1970.

Steel coils, beams, and plate brought in this week will bring the Port of Milwaukee's 2014 steel tonnage to roughly 179,000 metric tons, the highest level since 2006 when 200,000 tons of steel cargos came across Milwaukee's docks.  This year the Port of Milwaukee's steel tonnage is some 60 percent greater than last year's total of 111,842 metric tons making this navigation season the second best for steel traffic in 44 years.

“The volume of steel we handle is affected by several factors, and one positive factor is the strength of manufacturing in this region,” said Jeff Fleming, a spokesman for the Port of Milwaukee. “Manufacturers use steel, and when volumes are up at the Port of Milwaukee it usually correlates with strong manufacturing output.”

The increase in steel business, coupled with an increase in imported road salt have made 2014 one of the best years for international traffic at the port in decades.

While most road salt is sourced domestically in mines in the Great Lakes region, the Port of Milwaukee has been able to attract ships bringing salt in from overseas to satisfy the demand created by the heavy snows of last winter.  So far this year, the port has moved more than a million tons of salt through the port to serve the needs of southeastern Wisconsin.  


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