On March 7-9, 2023, Great Lakes port executives fanned out across the nation’s capitol in the association’s first Washington fly-in since the pandemic. Meetings included elected officials in both the House and Senate, Congressional committee staff, maritime and environmental agency leaders and Great Lakes governors’ representatives in DC.
Port officials highlighted the following priorities:
Invest in Port Infrastructure
Appropriate $300 million in the FY24 Transportation Appropriations Bill for the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Grants.
Build the Soo Lock
Appropriate adequate funds in the FY24 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill to keep the Soo Lock construction project on schedule for completion in 2030.
Enhance Icebreaking Capabilities
Appropriate $40 million in the FY24 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill to begin construction of a new Great Lakes heavy icebreaker.
Enhance Trade Development Activities at the U.S. Seaway
Appropriate $4 million in the FY24 Transportation and Urban Development Appropriations Bill to supplement the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation’s budget to expand trade development activities at the agency.
Stand Up the Great Lakes Authority
The President should appoint a federal co-chair for the new economic development agency and Congress should provide first-year start up funding in the FY24 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.
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 1st Session of the 118th Congress begins, AGLPA will be working with our Congressional advocates on these and other important issues.