On March 4th & 5th, members of the American Great Lakes Ports Association fanned out across Capitol Hill in the association’s first Washington fly-in. Meetings included elected officials in both the House and Senate, Congressional committee staff, maritime agency leaders, and the Great Lakes governors’ representatives in DC.
Port executives highlighted the following five priorities:
Keep the St. Lawrence Seaway Open and Safe
Oppose efforts by the International Joint Commission to increase water flows on the St. Lawrence River that create dangerous navigation conditions and impede commerce.
Invest in Port Infrastructure
Appropriate $500 million in the FY21 Transportation Appropriations Bill for the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Grants.
Build the Soo Lock
Appropriate $173.2 million in the FY21 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill for third-year construction funds to keep the project on schedule.
Enhance Icebreaking Capabilities
Appropriate $162 million in the FY21 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill to begin construction of a new Great Lakes heavy icebreaker.
Maintain Navigation Channels and Structures
Include the provisions of H.R. 2440 in the 2020 Water Resources Development Act to guarantee full use of Harbor Maintenance Tax revenue. Dedicate 12 percent of all expenditures to projects in the Great Lakes.
This year’s fly-in coincided with Great Lakes Day in Washington, a joint event sponsored by the Great Lakes Commission and the Northeast Midwest Institute. As the 2nd Session of the 116th Congress begins, AGLPA will be working with our Congressional advocates on these and other important issues.