2019: 60th Anniversary of the Opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway

WHEREAS, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River is a globally significant resource for a supply of clean water that also serves as an economic powerhouse for the region, supporting shipping, agriculture, technology, manufacturing, recreation, and tourism; and,


WHEREAS, the binational St. Lawrence Seaway was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, on behalf of the Government of Canada as Head of State, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower in June 1959, marking the inauguration of a new era of direct transoceanic waterborne commerce between inland ports of the Great Lakes of North America and ports throughout the world; and,


WHEREAS, 60 years later in 2019, the St. Lawrence Seaway came to be a technologically advanced system of locks, canals, and channels that permits ocean-going vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes; and,


WHEREAS, throughout its history, the St. Lawrence Seaway has remained available for the marine transportation industry as a safe, secure, reliable, efficient, and competitive deep draft international waterway; and,


WHEREAS, through 2018, nearly 3 billion tons of cargo, valued at over $450 billion, has moved through the St. Lawrence Seaway; and,


WHEREAS, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System annually sustains more than $35 billion in economic activity, and over 237,000 United States and Canadian jobs depend upon maritime commerce on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, making the waterway a driver of economic development in the Great Lakes region and the nation; and,


WHEREAS, increased proactive federal investment in marine infrastructure and ports is critical, and I, along with Governors Walz, Evers, Pritzker, and Wolf recently called on current and federal administrations to make these investments; and,


WHEREAS, the St. Lawrence Seaway’s 60th Anniversary Celebration Event in Massena, New York, will include remarks from United States and Canadian dignitaries, a gathering of Great Lakes Seaway System stakeholders from throughout the region, and the general public;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan do hereby proclaim the year 2019 as 60th Anniversary of the Opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway to recognize the significant positive impact of the binational waterway, extend congratulations on this milestone anniversary, and wish all participants a memorable celebration event.