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Great Lakes Dredging hinges on Federal Legislation


House and Senate Bills Offer Hope for Lakes Dredging Crisis.   Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have taken up legislation that could end the dredging crisis on the Great Lakes.  H.R. 335 and S. 218 would require the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (“HMTF”) to spend what it takes in each year for dredging on dredging.  Currently, the HMTF spends only one of every two tax dollars it collects for dredging on dredging.  The surplus, now approaching $7 billion, is used to mask the size of the Federal deficit rather than maintain the nation’s ports and waterways.  As a result, 17 million cubic yards of sediment clog Lakes harbors and have the largest vessels losing more than 10,000 tons of cargo in just one trip. H.R. 335, the Realize America’s Maritime Promise (“RAMP”) Act, was introduced on January 22 and currently has 67 co-sponsors, 15 of whom are from the Great Lakes region.  S. 218, the Harbor Maintenance Act of 2013, was introduced on February 4.  The bill was authored by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and has 28 co-sponsors, 10 of whom are from Great Lakes states.   “Congress must quickly pass these bills,” said Donald N. Cree, President of Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, the largest labor/management coalition ever to promote waterborne commerce on the nation’s Fourth Sea Coast.  “The largest U.S

Shipping Season Rewarded During National Transportation Week

During the 2006 Great Lakes shipping season, the Port of Detroit exceeded its 2005 international cargo tonnage volume by more than sixty percent. Because of the upswing in international cargo volume, the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority (DWCPA) and its stevedoring company, Nicholson Terminal & Dock Company, will receive the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation's Robert Lewis Port Pacesetter Award. SLSDC

Great Lakes States to Address Ballast Water Issue

Attorney General Jennifer M. Granholm has joined Attorneys General from around the Great Lakes states in filing a brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that asks the Court to order the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address the problem of aquatic nuisance species in the ballast water of Great Lakes ships. In a "friend of the court" brief filed jointly with the states of New York, Minnesota, and Illinois

New Scheduled International Cargo Shipping Service

Photo courtesy of US Department of Transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) today joined the Port of Cleveland in announcing the launch of the Port of Cleveland’s Express Ocean Freight Service.  The new service will run between the Port of Cleveland and Antwerp, Belgium via the Saint Lawrence Seaway and is the first regularly scheduled international cargo shipping service to a U.S. port on the Great Lakes in decades.    

Great Lakes Iron Ore Trade Dips in June

Photo: LCA

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 6.2 million tons in June, a decrease of 6 percent compared to May, and nearly 5 percent below the level of a year ago, the Lakes Carriers' Association (LCA) announced. Loadings at U.S. ports totaled 5.5 million tons, a decrease of 7 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian ports in the Seaway totaled 695,000, an increase of 19 percent, but in terms of tons, the trade rose perhaps five cargos for the month

Cutting Emissions: Interlake Installs Marine Scrubbers

DuPont marine scrubber during Interlake loading. (Photo courtesy of  DuPont Marine)

As shipping companies struggle to find their preferred solutions for meeting strict new emission mandates, Ohio-based Interlake Steamship has found a good partner in DuPont Marine Scrubbers. Interlake awarded DuPont Sustainable Solutions, through its subsidiary Belco Technologies Corporation (BELCO), an additional contract to supply DuPont Marine Scrubber systems for two more vessels. The M/V James R. Barker, the first 1,000-ft

LCA's Ryan Retires

George J. Ryan will end his 20-plus year career as President of Lake Carriers' Association on January 15. Ryan will retire as one of the longest serving President's in the Association's 123-year history. James H. I. Weakley will succeed him. "George's contributions to the U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet are immeasurable," said James R. Barker, Chairman of The Interlake Steamship Company, one of the largest U.S.-Flag operators on the Lakes

USCG Icebreakers to Sport Finnish Technology

The new icebreakers for the U.S. Coast Guard being built at Marinette Marine Corp. will feature some of the world's most advanced icebreaking features, complements of Finland. Marinette Marine, a division of Manitowac Marine Group, has contracted with a pair of Kvaerner Masa-Yards Group Companies — Kvaerner Masa Marine (KMM) and Masa-Yards Arctic Technology Center (MARC) — to provide ice breaking consulting services and model testing for the new USCG Great Lakes Icebreaker Mackinaw

Kvaerner Masa-Yards Receives Contract

Kvaerner Masa Marine (KMM) and Masa-Yards Arctic Technology Center (MARC), both part of the Kvaerner Masa-Yards Group, were recently awarded a contract to provide ice breaking consulting services and model testing for the USCG Great Lakes Icebreaker currently being designed by Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) a division of Manitowoc Marine Group. The new icebreaker will be named Mackinaw in honor of the heavy icebreaker that it is replacing. The new Mackinaw will be a

Lock Closure Causes Big Losses on the Great Lakes

An aerial view from the upper approach to the Soo Locks. The locks from left to right are the Sabin, Davis, Poe and MacArthur. (Image: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

 U.S.-flag Great Lakes carriers lose a quarter-million dollars waiting 20 days for MacArthur Lock to reopen   The 20-day closure of the MacArthur Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan cost U.S.-flag Great Lakes vessel operators nearly $250,000, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). A misalignment of the miter gates forced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close the lock on July 29, and it remained out of service until August 17. During those 20 days, U.S

Fednav's New Bulker Features High-tech BWT System

Federal Caribou (Photo: Fednav Limited)

Fednav Limited,  an  international bulk shipowner in Canada, has welcomed to the Port of Indiana – Burns Harbor, the Federal Caribou, one of seven new oceangoing lakers equipped with a ballast water treatment system—a first for the Great Lakes

Fednav Welcomes Innovative Ballast System at Indiana Port

Fednav is committed to conducting business in an ethical and sustainable manner

Fednav Limited, the largest international bulk shipowner in Canada, welcomed to the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, the Federal Caribou, one of seven new oceangoing lakers equipped with a ballast water treatment system-a first for the Great Lakes.

Interlake Steamship Bulk Carrier Repowered

The newly repowered M/V Herbert C. Jackson departed Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wis., yesterday giving a farewell salute to the Twin Ports where it has been undergoing its steam-to-diesel conversion since December 21.   As the last steam-powered ship in Interlake Steamship Company’s

Vessel Aids Fire Emergency While in Final Testing

Photo: Lake Assault Boats

Lake Assault Boats, manufacturer of purpose-built and mission-specific fire and rescue boats, recently assisted the Superior, Wis. Fire Department in its response to a fire on an ore boat at Fraser Shipyards. At the time, a team from Lake Assault was in the final stages of testing the 28-foot

Great Lakes Iron Ore Trade Up 23.4% in April

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 5,355,855 tons in April, an increase of 23.4 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). Shipments also topped the month’s 5-year average by 18.4 percent.  

Returning to the Scene of the Shipwrecks

 A participant in a diving field school last fall, graduate student Tori Kiefer is back to help a new set of students learn the joy of surveying shipwrecks.   Last fall, Tori Kiefer was part of a group of East Carolina University graduate students who came to the waters of Wisconsin to

Seaway Stakeholders File Suit Against US Coast Guard

A bulk carrier alongside the pier (File photo: FedNav)

Ports and vessel operators challenge what they call “flawed pilotage fees”   A coalition of U.S. Great Lakes ports, vessel operating companies and maritime trade associations today filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the U.S

New Great Lakes Icebreaker Nearing Reality

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw breaks ice in Whitefish Bay, Mich., in March 2009 (U.S. Coast Guard file photo by George Degener)

Plans for a second heavy icebreaker for service on the Great Lakes have taken another step toward reality with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) including $2 million for initial survey and design work for a vessel that is at least as capable as the current icebreaker Mackinaw in the committee report

[Op-Ed] Ballast Water Facts, Not Hype

Photo: American Great Lakes Ports Association

An Op-Ed issued by the Lake Carriers’ Association, American Great Lakes Ports Association and Great Lakes Maritime Task Force addresses the “exaggerations and inaccuracies” surrounding the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA)

Gov’t Officials Tour Great Lakes Shipyard

(Photo: The Great Lakes Group)

U.S. Labor Secretary Perez and Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish visit The Great Lakes Towing Company headquarters and Great Lakes Shipyard; tour and discussion at The Great Lakes Towing Company focused on federal funding’s impact and the importance of employer involvement in workforce

US Coast Guard Shipyard Under New Command

Captain Matthew Lake (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

U.S. Coast Guard Captain Matthew Lake assumed command of the U.S. Coast Guard Yard on July 1, 2016. He is the 42nd Commanding Officer in the 117-year history of the yard, the only shipbuilding and major ship repair facility of the U.S. Coast Guard.  

Lake Assault Fireboat Assists with Foss Lake Wildfire

Photo courtesy of LVFB

A Lake Assault fireboat, owned and operated by the Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade, provided support for wildland firefighting efforts during the Foss Lake wildfire near Ely, Minn. earlier this spring.   The 33-foot craft was used to haul up to 20-person crews

Great Lakes Ports Support Ballast Reforms

Directors of major commercial ports in the Great Lakes region called on Congress to end years of regulatory chaos surrounding ballast water management.    In a joint letter issued late yesterday, 14 port directors urged the Senate Armed Services Committee to include ballast regulatory

Custom Fireboat Delivered in Texas

Photo: Lake Assault Boats

Lake Assault Boats, manufacturer of purpose-built and mission-specific fire and rescue boats, has placed into service a 28-foot fireboat with the City of Conroe Fire Department in Conroe, Texas. The craft was delivered in mid-May.   Assistant fire chief for the City of Conroe Fire Department

Navionics+Regions Available in New Areas

New Navionics+Regions Image Navionics

Navionics, the leader in content and location-based services for the recreational boating and outdoor markets, announced today the release of Navionics+ Regions in five coverage areas throughout the U.S. and Canada. At the affordable price of $149 per region

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