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What does the GLS do?

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS) is a wholly owned government corporation created by statute May 13, 1954, to construct, operate, and maintain that part of the St. Lawrence Seaway between the Port of Montreal and Lake Erie, within the territorial limits of the United States. Trade development functions aim to enhance Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System utilization without respect to territorial or geographic limits.

The mission of the Corporation is to serve the U.S. intermodal and international transportation system by improving the operation and maintenance of a safe, reliable, efficient, and environmentally responsible deep-draft waterway, in cooperation with its Canadian counterpart. The GLS also encourages the development of trade through the Great Lakes Seaway System, which contributes to the comprehensive economic and environmental development of the entire Great Lakes region.

The GLS headquarters staff offices are located in Washington, D.C. Operations are located at the two U.S. Seaway locks (Eisenhower and Snell) in Massena, N.Y.

More information is available on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway binational website at and on the GLS's official Facebook page at

A copy of the GLS's Strategic Plan is available online

GLS Mission Statement

The GLS operates and maintains the U.S. infrastructure and waters of the St. Lawrence Seaway, while performing trade development focused on driving economic activity for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System. Our mission is to serve the marine transportation industries by providing a safe, secure, reliable, efficient, and competitive deep draft international waterway, in cooperation with the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC).

Vision Statement

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation will be a model federal agency, leading the Great Lakes Seaway System as the safest and most efficient, competitive, technologically advanced, and environmentally responsible marine transportation system in the world.

Organizational Core Values

Commitment // Dependability // Service // Leadership // Stewardship

GLS Advisory Board

The GLS Advisory Board consists of five members that meet quarterly to advise the U.S. Seaway Administrator on policies involving the operation and development of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Members are appointed by the White House and confirmed by the United States Senate. Current Advisory Board members include:

  • David McMillan, Chairman; Duluth, Minnesota; 2012-present
  • William Mielke, Member; President/CEO, Ruekert-Mielke, Inc.; Waukesha, Wisconsin; 2013-present
  • Dr. Arthur Sulzer, Ed D. (Captain USN Ret.), Member; President, Arthur H. Sulzer Associates, Inc.; Glen Mills, Pennsylvania 2013-present

As of January 2016, the GLS has begun publicly sharing Advisory Board meeting minutes in an effort to "use technology to share information and data to citizens and stakeholders".

Available GLS Advisory Board Meeting Minutes