Policy Positions

State Assistance for Ports

Throughout the Great Lakes region, ports are in need of reinvestment to replace aging infrastructure and improve freight movement. State governments have primary responsibility for transportation planning and invest heavily in highway, rail, aviation and public transportation. They do this for the benefit of their citizens and to ensure a strong economy. Unfortunately, they largely... Read More

Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund

The Harbor Maintenance Tax is a fee collected from users of the maritime transportation system in order to fund the Army Corps of Engineers' operation and maintenance activities. In the Great Lakes, these activities include regular dredging of harbors, maintenance of breakwaters, and operation of the Soo Locks. Despite the fact that adequate revenue is... Read More

Marine Infrastructure Investment

Throughout the Great Lakes region, federal navigation infrastructure is in need of reconstruction and repair. Critical infrastructure includes the Soo Lock complex in northern Michigan and the St. Lawrence Seaway locks in upstate New York. Additional investments are necessary to restore federal breakwater structures protecting harbors and urban waterfronts throughout the region. Read More

Great Lakes Marine Pilotage

Throughout the United States, road and rail congestion threaten the flow of commerce and economic growth. To address congestion, transportation planners are examining how local waterways can play an increased role in accommodating the movement of freight. The Great Lakes navigation system provides our region with a cost effective, waterborne transportation alternative. An impediment to... Read More

Ballast Water Regulation

The problem of aquatic nuisance species has challenged the Great Lakes region for more than 20 years. There are a number of vectors by which non-native species might enter the Great Lakes, including the ballast water of ocean-going vessels. In response to this problem, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and most... Read More

Chicago Area Waterway System

Constructed between 1887-1922, the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) provides a connection between the inland river navigation system and the Great Lakes, facilitating the movement of commercial maritime commerce and recreational boating. The waterway also serves an important role in the sanitation and flood control system serving Chicago and Northwest Indiana. In an effort to... Read More

Seaway Navigation Season

The opening and closing dates of the St. Lawrence Seaway vary from year to year due to weather conditions and the demands of commerce. The system's locks have opened as early as March 20 and as late as March 31. The closing date has ranged from December 24 to December 31. Read More

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

The Great Lakes include 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater and host a diverse ecosystem of aquatic and terrestrial life. Launched in 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was created to accelerate efforts to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem. The GLRI seeks to... Read More