Great Lakes group honors Sen. Stabenow for maritime efforts

(WASHINGTON) — The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF) on Wednesday recognized the significant contributions U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has made throughout her congressional career protecting the Great Lakes Navigation System and supporting American jobs with investment in U.S.-flagged Great Lakes shipping.

Stabenow, who co-chairs the bipartisan Senate Great Lakes Task Force, has been the driving force behind the protection of the nation’s largest freshwater resource and the maritime highway that supports U.S. jobs through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which was authored in 2010 and has since received $3.8 billion in funding.

The GLRI has been a major success with funds provided for over 6,800 projects throughout the region protecting the Great Lakes and its waterways against its greatest threats, and addressing problems that impact public health and safety.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow

“Our U.S. sailors, port, shipyard and manufacturing employees depend on the Great Lakes and its connecting waterways for the raw-material supply chain to support good-paying jobs and their families live (who) here too,” said Jim Weakley, vice president of the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force and president of the Lake Carriers’ Association. “Sen. Stabenow’s work for over a decade has proved to be a game-changer ensuring our fresh waters are restored and protected for generations to come,”

Stabenow has been a critical champion for arguably the most important North American infrastructure project in several years with the construction of a large new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers navigational lock in Sault Ste Marie, Mich. Nearly all domestically produced high-strength steel is made with iron ore that transits the current large lock, the Poe, built in 1969.

A study conducted by the Department of Homeland Security concluded that a six-month unscheduled outage of the Poe Lock would result in 11 million jobs lost and a $1.1 trillion economic impact. Recognizing the vital national economic importance and the reality that it is an aging single point of failure for North American manufacturing, Stabenow advocated for funding authorization and continued efficient funding of the estimated $3.2 billion project, securing large annual appropriations to keep the project on track.

The presentation of the award was made at Stabenow’s Washington office surrounded by many thankful Great Lakes Maritime Task Force members.

– Great Lakes Maritime Task Force

By Professional Mariner Staff