The following is the text of a news release from the American Great Lakes Ports Association:
(WASHINGTON) — The American Great Lakes Ports Association in partnership with the Lake Carriers’ Association, Fednav Ltd. and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. have jointly sponsored a new binational public affairs program called The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership. The program officially launched today with the unveiling of a new website.
The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership brings together leading U.S. and Canadian maritime organizations working to enhance public understanding of the benefits of commercial shipping in the Great Lakes Seaway region of North America. The organization will manage an education-focused communications program, sponsor research, and work closely with media, policy makers, community groups, allied industries, environmental stakeholders, and the general public to highlight the positive attributes of marine transportation.
Mark W. Barker, president of The Interlake Steamship Co. and chairman of the new program's board of directors, said: “We are pleased to launch this new initiative that looks at the big-picture perspective of the Great Lakes Seaway System and serves as a platform to discuss the economic, environmental and safety benefits of this shared waterway for national, binational and international trade. While the program does not have an advocacy agenda, we anticipate the program will engage our stakeholders by providing them with industry news, results of reports and studies, and opportunities for them to understand — in a very real way — the impact Great Lakes Seaway shipping has on the economies of both the U.S. and Canada.”
The website features include sections dedicated to the program’s three key messages — economy, environment and safety — as well as facts and figures about the eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces. There is also a section which serves as a primer about Great Lakes Seaway shipping. Latest news about ports, shipping companies, industry associations and programs are omnipresent on each page. Users of the site are encouraged to sign up to be added to the partnership’s mailing list.