Great Ships Initiative
Press Release from Northeast-Midwest Institute
Date: July 11, 2006
NOTE TO EDITORS AND INTERESTED PARTIES: A press event announcing an industry-led "Great Ships Initiative "to address invasive species problems associated with the commercial shipping industry on the Great Lakes, will take place at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, July 12, 2006, at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority building, 1200 Port Terminal Drive, Duluth, MN. The event is open to the public.
Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI, U.S.A. - Leaders of over a dozen major U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports will be joined by scientists and federal agency officials at Duluth/Superior harbor to announce an industry-led "Great Ships Initiative." This $3.5 million effort will focus on developing and implementing shipboard treatment technology necessary to prevent the introduction of aquatic nuisance species into the Great Lakes by ocean-going ships.
The Northeast-Midwest Institute led a collaborative scoping effort funded by the Great Lakes Protection Fund which produced the basic concept for the Great Ships Initiative. The scoping report can be downloaded from the Internet at www.nemw.org/scopingreport.pdf
Great Ships Initiative research efforts will be based within the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The project will be co-managed by the Northeast-Midwest Institute and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, both of Washington, D.C.
An executive committee of maritime industry and Great Lakes resource stakeholders will provide broad oversight to the project. Several technical advisory committees will offer advice on topics relating to ships' engineering and biological efficacy.
Adolph Ojard, Duluth’s port director, noted; "Aquatic nuisance species are unwelcome hitchhikers; they are an unintended consequence of international maritime commerce. The sooner we develop technology to keep these organisms off ships, the sooner this problem will be solved."
The Great Ships Initiative received initial funding of $500,000 through the efforts of Congressman David R. Obey (D-WI) in federal fiscal year 2005. Congressman Obey secured an equal amount in fiscal year 2006. Since that time, additional funds or in-kind contributions have been provided by the following project partners:
The U.S. Department of Transportation
The U.S. Maritime Administration
The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute
The City of Superior
The Duluth Seaway Port Authority
The Port of Milwaukee
The Illinois International Port District
The Ports of Indiana
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority
The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority
The Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority
The Port of Toronto, Ontario
The Port of Hamilton, Ontario
Additionally, the project has received endorsements from Wisconsin Governor James Doyle; the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative; Great Lakes United, a regional conservation organization; and Federal Navigation Limited, the largest operator of ocean shipping on the Great Lakes.
Allegra Cangelosi – Senior Policy Analyst
GSI Project Manager