This year, the Port of Erie (Pa.) was the host to the annual summer meeting of the American Great Lakes Ports Association (AGLPA), and once again the meeting provided participants with extensive information on various topics related to shipping on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System. The two-day event (July 24-25) kicked off with a tour of the Donjon Shipyard in Erie, followed by numerous presentations relevant to the Great Lakes Seaway System. Attendees represented port authorities, shippers, various associations/organizations, and federal agencies. As with each AGLPA meeting, it provided an opportunity to reconnect with long-standing stakeholders and meet newcomers to the group.
The following presentations were on the meeting agenda:
- Steve Fisher, Executive Director, AGLPA, provided an update on the Association’s activities over the last six months and the status of key legislative issues before Congress.
- Craig Middlebrook, Deputy Director, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, and Jean Aubry-Morin, Executive Vice President, St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, discussed ongoing efforts to improve infrastructure, promote the Great Lakes Seaway System and develop new business.
- Elizabeth Corona, Smart Sectors Program, Environmental Protection Agency, presented on the Administration’s approach to cooperative stakeholder engagement.
- Floyd Miras, Director, Great Lakes Gateway Office, U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), provided an update on MARAD programs and policies.
- John Martin, President, Martin Associates, highlighted the results of the new comprehensive economic analysis of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence navigation system.
- Tina Potuto Kimble, Director of U.S. Governmental and Regulatory Affairs, Tata Steel Europe, discussed the Trump Administration’s policies toward foreign steel, and their impacts on Great Lakes steel trade.
- Darren Nichols, the new Executive Director of the Great Lakes Commission, presented on the organization’s role, current priorities, and future direction.
- Arthur Sulzer, Founder, Maritime Academy Charter High School of Philadelphia, highlighted efforts to prepare tomorrow’s leaders and promote maritime careers.