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About Us


Founded in 1977, the American Great Lakes Ports Association (AGLPA) is an organization representing the interests of commercial ports and port users on the United States side of the Great Lakes. AGLPA works to influence public policies with the goal of fostering maritime commerce and related employment in the Great Lakes region. Through our common voice, we work to educate policy makers, media, and the general public regarding the critical role of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway shipping in the region’s economy.


Great Lakes ports first joined to form a U.S. public policy organization in the late 1970s in an effort to gain a greater share of annual U.S. Department of Agriculture Public Law 480 food-aid shipments. Over time, this coalition of ports gradually expanded its membership and adopted a broader agenda. In 2002, the coalition was organized under the laws of the District of Columbia as a not-for-profit corporation. Later that year, the Internal Revenue Service granted the organization status as a 501(c)(6) tax exempt organization.

Organizational Structure

Voting members of the Association are public entities responsible for promoting maritime commerce and related economic development in their communities. These entities are typically units of state, county or municipal government, or independent agencies created by state statute. Other organizations or companies may join as non-voting “associate members.”

The association maintains offices in Washington, DC and employs an Executive Director to carry out its day-to-day activities.

AGLPA Staff & Office

Steve Fisher

Executive Director


Equitable Distribution of Port Infrastructure Grants

In 2010, Congress authorized a Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) to be administered by the U.S. Maritime Administration. While the …

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