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Great Lakes Ships

Spending HMT Will End Dredging Crisis

Using the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for its intended purpose will end the dredging crisis on the Great Lakes declared a stone shipper at a briefing for the Great Lakes delegation in Washington, DC on April 2 hosted by Great Lakes Maritime Task Force.  “We need approximately $200m to clear the dredging backlog on the Great Lakes,” said Thomas Buck, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carmeuse Lime & Stone.  “The fund collects $1.1b annually, but only spends $700m.  That leaves a surplus of nearly $5b. It’s time to put the ‘trust’ back in the Trust Fund.” Carmeuse Lime & Stone operates three large stone quarries that ship via the Great Lakes.  In 2008, those quarries loaded 14 million tons of aggregate and fluxstone into Great Lakes freighters.  Buck used a sampling of vessel loadings to illustrate the negative impacts of the dredging crisis on Carmeuse.  “In June, a vessel with a designed carrying capacity of 28,300 net tons left our plant in Calcite, Michigan, with only a little more than 24,000 tons in her holds.  The dredging crisis cost us nearly 15 percent of the vessel’s carrying capacity.” Another vessel left Carmeuse’s Cedarville, Michigan, quarry with more than 4,400 tons of carrying capacity unused. The reason vessels cannot carry full loads is decades of inadequate funding for dredging.  The U.S


Largest Potential Lakes Project in Generation

Congress is considering the possible funding of the construction of a new lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, a half-billion dollar undertaking that would rank as the largest navigation infrastructure project on the Great Lakes in a generation. Construction of a new lock at “the Soo” would bring up to 250 jobs annually to northern Michigan and continue for a decade.  Estimated cost of the lock is about $475m


WRDA Passage to End Lakes Dredging Crisis

The end of the dredging crisis on the Great Lakes moved a giant step closer today when a key House committee approved legislation requiring the federal government to spend all the tax dollars it collects for dredging on dredging rather than use nearly half to balance the budget - at least on paper.  Section 2007 of H.R. 5892, the Water Resources Development Act of 2010, mandates that all tax revenues annually deposited in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) be used to dredge the


Great Lakes Shipping Industry Urges Fast WRRDA Approval

James H.I Weakley: Photo GLMTF

The Great Lakes shipping industry is calling on Congress to quickly pass the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) approved by the House/Senate conference committee. The bill contains provisions that will significantly reduce the dredging backlog on the Great Lakes by increasing the amount of tax dollars the government spends on maintaining deep-draft ports and waterways and designating the Great Lakes a “navigation system” for the purposes of maintenance dredging.


Bi-national Study Highlights Green Advantages

GRT_Lakes_Stone Carrier web.jpg

A comprehensive report released today has defined the modal and environmental advantages of using marine shipping to transport goods in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway region. A study titled The Environmental and Social Impacts of Marine Transport in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway Region was conducted by Ontario transportation consultants Research and Traffic Group, and peer reviewed by independent experts in the U.S. and Canada


Great Lakes Shipping Returns to Normal

Shipping on the Great Lakes should be back to normal by early Monday evening, Canadian marine authorities said, as a 730-ft. freighter, which crashed into a lift bridge across the Welland Canal, has been towed away. "They're raising the bridge at the moment and they will have to make sure it (is secure) before telling the ships to move into the canal," said Sylvie Moncion, a spokeswoman for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., which operates the key marine route into central North America


LCA Endorses Government Report

U.S.-flag shipping on the Great Lakes provides efficient, safe, and environmentally sound transportation services to industries that are the backbone of the American economy finds a report released on February 12 by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration.   The U.S.-flag Lakes fleet is “competitive with other modes of freight transportation in the movement of dry-bulk commodities and appears to be adequately capitalized to meet current market


Malfunction Underscores Need for Second Poe-Sized Lock

A malfunction of the Poe Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, , on September 24 has illustrated the pressing need for Congress to appropriate the funds to build another lock capable of handling the largest U.S.-Flag Great Lakes freighters. Although the vessel delays totaled only about three hours, had the problem been more severe, cargo movement on the Lakes would have slowed to a trickle. U.S.-Flag Lakers whose length and/or beam restrict them to the Poe Lock represent 70 percent of U.S


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


Lakes Leaders Declare Dredging State of Emergency

The Administration’s proposal to slash the Great Lakes dredging budget by 32 percent in FY12 has the Great Lakes shipping industry declaring a State of Emergency.  The Administration’s proposed appropriation for Lakes dredging next year will remove the smallest amount of sediment since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started keeping records more than half a century ago.  As a result, only 11 of the 83 U.S ports on the Great Lakes will be dredged.


Great Lakes Dredging Awards Announced

Courtesy Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation announced that it was recently awarded four contracts with an approximate value of $93 million. Great Lakes received two awards for coastal protection work required along the East Coast as a result of the extensive damage caused by Super Storm Sandy in


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


Great Lakes Limestone Trade Down in June

Source: Lake Carriers’ Association

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.7 million tons in June, a decrease of 7.8 percent compared to a year ago, and slightly below the month’s five-year average, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reports.  


National Museum of the American Sailor Unveiled

The National Museum of the American Sailor name change signals a shift in vision from a regional focus to one that depicts the diverse history of Sailors who have served in the U.S. Navy. (U.S. Navy photo)

The Great Lakes Naval Museum was officially renamed the National Museum of the American Sailor during a ceremony and sign unveiling at the museum July 4. The Navy's top enlisted Sailor, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens, was joined by retired Rear Adm


Lakes Limestone Trade in May Repeats a Year Ago

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3,806,526 tons in May, a virtual repeat of a year ago when the trade totaled 3,809,701 tons, reports the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). This May’s loadings were, however, slightly below the month’s five-year average.  


Interlake Steamship Continues Scrubber Upgrades

M/V James R. Barker (File photo: The Interlake Steamship Company)

The M/V James R. Barker sailed Sunday from Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., becoming Interlake Steamship Company’s first 1,000-footer and its second self-unloading bulk carrier to be outfitted with exhaust gas scrubbers.  


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


[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)


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


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


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


US-flag Lakers Cargo Movements Up in April

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 7.3 million tons of cargo in April, an increase of 9.7 percent compared to a year ago and 7 percent above the month’s five-year average, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA).  


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.  


Great Lakes Limestone Trade Up 7% in April

Photo: LCA

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 1,947,263 tons in April, an increase of 7 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA).   Loadings out of U.S. quarries totaled 1,552,490 tons, a decrease of 3


Great Lakes Shipyard Performs USCG Drydocking

Photo: Great Lakes Shipyard

On April 25, Great Lakes Shipyard hauled out the U.S. Coast Guard’s 125’ x 52’ Aids to Navigation Barge (12001). Using the Shipyard’s 770-ton Marine Travelift, the yard lifted the 620-ton AToN barge quickly and easily, and placed it on drydocking blocks.  






 
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