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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Press Release - St. Lawrence Seaway Begins Navigation Season

Thursday, March 24, 2022

GLS 01-22  

Contact: Elizabeth.Fox@dot.gov  

Tel.: 855-368-4200

St. Lawrence Seaway Begins Navigation Season

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS) joined with its binational partner, the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC), to mark the opening of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System’s (Seaway System) 64th navigation season. The opening ceremony of the binational waterway took place in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.  Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra (who attended virtually), GLS Deputy Administrator Craig H. Middlebrook, and SLSMC President/CEO Terence Bowles welcomed the transit of the first commercial vessel of the season.

“The Seaway System, and the people operating it, have kept goods moving efficiently and reliably to and from America’s heartland when we needed them most,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We’re proud to open this year’s navigation season for the Seaway System, and, with our Canadian partners, support this critical part of our economy and supply chain.”

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System provides maritime commerce with reliable and efficient cargo movement that supports high-quality jobs in the U.S. and Canada and helps us address our joint climate goals. More than 237,000 jobs and $35 billion in economic activity in the U.S. and Canada are annually supported by movement of various cargoes on the Seaway System – more than 35 million metric tons of cargo each year.

“The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System’s performance continues to highlight its resiliency and importance as a maritime supply chain,” said GLS Deputy Administrator Craig H. Middlebrook. “An exceptional reliability record and significant investments in infrastructure and technology are enhancing efficiencies and keeping the Seaway System safe and competitive. We look forward to building on last season’s accomplishments.” 

“The Seaway System is ready to do its part to help reinvigorate trade, rebuild industries, and create a resilient and more stable supply chain,” said Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the SLSMC.

A ship transiting the Seaway System’s 15 locks from Montreal to Lake Erie crosses the international border 27 times, and the U.S. Department of Transportation and Transport Canada work closely together to ensure that this transit experience is as safe and seamless as possible. 

The Canada Steamship Lines’ (CSL) Trillium Class bulk carrier CSL Welland was the first ship to transit through the Welland Canal. Visit the following link for more information on the official opening of the 64th navigation season:  2022 Seaway Opening Ceremony.

The CSL Welland, with a commissioned work of art, “The Runners”, painted on the 36,364 DWT bulk carrier, was the first ship to pass through the Welland Canal in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada on Thursday, March 24, 2022, marking the start of the 64th navigation season of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Photo Credit: The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC)

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