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Jim Weakley Authors Article on Economic Impact of Great Lakes

Jim Weakley, President of the Lakes Carriers’ Association recently wrote an interesting article for Marine Log on the economic impact and overview of The Great Lakes Region and Saint Lawrence Seaway.

In summary of the article, Economic Impact, the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership released a study stating the Great Lakes produce an economic impact of $35 billion a year and support 237,868 jobs.

In addition, validation study has been completed on a second Poe-sized lock, determining that twinning the

has a benefit/cost ration of 2.42. There is good reason to believe that there is adequate support for the project to begin seeking funding for construction.

Over the past few winters it has been increasingly clear that U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards do not have enough ice breaker vessels to meet the needs of commerce. There is a high cost to this, with either delayed or canceled cargo because of ice-related issues. The good news is that $5 million dollars has been appropriated to fund a new ice class vessel for the Great Lakes.

Twice federal discharge standards have been brought forward to legislators in the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act but at the last minute has been removed prior to a vote. Work is continuing with legislators to end uncertainties between two federal governments and multiple states.

Dredging continues to be a problem on the Great Lakes. Ten years ago, 18 million cubic yards of sediment clogged the Great Lakes ports and waterways. Today, there is a backlog in dredging of 13 million cubic yards. However, the dredging budget has doubled so there is continued work on increasing dredging in the Great Lakes.

To read the complete article go to

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