The Great Lakes shipping industry is calling on Congress to override President Bush's veto of legislation that will accelerate dredging and authorize construction of a second Poe-sized Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. These provisions and others benefitting the Lakes are included in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 recently vetoed by the President.
The Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (H.R. 1495) was passed by wide margins in both the House and Senate. Lack of adequate dredging reportedly is forcing the largest U.S.-Flag vessels on the Lakes to lose 6,000 tons of cargo each trip.
A second Poe-sized Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, is one of the most important infrastructure improvements on the Great Lakes in decades. Reportedly 70 percent of U.S.-Flag carrying capacity is restricted to the Poe Lock, and if that lock were incapacitated, the U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet would not be able to meet the needs of commerce.
Great Lakes Maritime Task Force was founded in Toledo, Ohio, in 1992 to promote domestic and international shipping on the Great Lakes. With 73 members, it is the largest coalition to ever speak for the Great Lakes shipping community
and draws its membership from both labor and management representing U.S.-Flag vessel operators, shipboard and longshore unions, port authorities, cargo shippers, terminal operators, shipyards and other Great Lakes interests. Its goals include restoring adequate funding for dredging of Great Lakes deep-draft ports and waterways, construction of a second Poe-sized lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; protecting the nation's cabotage laws; maximizing the Lakes overseas trade; and opposing exports and increased diversions of Great Lakes water.