On Tuesday, U.S.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao marked the 60th anniversary of the St.
Lawrence Seaway, the U.S.-Canadian waterway, at a ceremony at the Eisenhower
Lock in Massena, NY.
Chao was joined by
Transport Canada Director General of Marine Policy Marc-Yves Bertin, U.S.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, U.S. Seaway Deputy Administrator Craig
Middlebrook, Canadian Seaway President and CEO Terence Bowles, and U.S. and
Canadian government and transportation officials.
“For 60 years, the
St. Lawrence Seaway has been a safe and reliable gateway for global
commerce, further demonstrating our nation’s strong and strategic
partnership with Canada,” Chao said.
At the event, Chao
and Stefanik announced $6 million in funding for the Saint Lawrence Seaway
Development Corporation to construct a new Visitors’ Center at the U.S.
Eisenhower Lock. This new center will welcome the tens of thousands of
people from around the world who come to watch ships transit the lock each
year, and serve as a cornerstone for tourism in the North Country region of
waterway was officially opened in 1959 by Queen Elizabeth II and President
Eisenhower and has since been proclaimed as one of the 10 most outstanding
engineering achievements of the past 100 years. Since its inception, nearly
3 billion tons of cargo, valued at over $450 billion, have been transported
via the Seaway. Maritime commerce on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway
System supports more than 237,000 U.S. and Canadian jobs and generates $35
billion in economic activity annually.
The Great Lakes St.
Lawrence Seaway System is a vital maritime gateway that moves cargo between
North America and international markets. The Great Lakes Seaway System
encompasses the St. Lawrence River and the five Great Lakes, and stretches
more than 2,300 miles from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Lake Superior.