(TOLEDO, Ohio) — Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, has been named a 2016 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year by the largest labor/management coalition representing shipping on America’s Fourth Sea Coast. The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF) annually presents the award to legislators who have promoted shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Joyce received his award at a ceremony in Washington on April 12.
“Rep. Joyce’s deep appreciation for Great Lakes shipping stems from having two major ports in his district, Ashtabula and Conneaut,” said Thomas Curelli, president of GLMTF in 2016. “Countless family sustaining jobs are created by the cargo that moves across the docks in Ashtabula and Conneaut."
“Rep. Joyce has also been a tireless advocate for adequate icebreaking resources,” said Brian D. Krus, first vice president of GLMTF and senior national assistance vice president of the American Maritime Officers. “Back in February 2015, a U.S.-flag laker bound for Conneaut became icebound for five days and the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker dispatched to free it was unable to get the vessel moving. Its last cargo of the season had to be canceled. Rep. Joyce knows jobs hang in the balance when cargo can’t move during the ice season.”
The dredging crisis has also had Joyce’s full attention. “The largest vessels calling on Ashtabula and Conneaut forfeit about 270 tons of cargo for each inch of loaded draft lost to inadequate dredging,” said James H.I. Weakley, second vice president of GLMTF and president of the Lake Carriers’ Association. “The efficiencies of Great Lakes shipping are the foundation of the Midwest economy and Congressman Joyce has been laser-focused on bringing more dredging dollars back to the Lakes.”
The award also recognizes Joyce’s commitment to international shipping via the St. Lawrence Seaway. “Northern Ohio businesses have direct and efficient access to world markets because of the Seaway,” said John D. Baker, third vice president of GLMTF and president emeritus of the ILA’s Great Lakes District Council. “Imports and exports are key to the future.”