As summer progresses around the northern hemisphere, the navigation season on the St. Lawrence Seaway has been a busy one. And last week, Deputy Secretary John Porcari traveled to Massena, NY, to see DOT's Seaway facilities first-hand.
What he saw in the North Country is people working hard to keep the American economy moving forward.
In Massena, Deputy Secretary Porcari told the men and women of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation that, "We know you keep the Snell and Eisenhower locks open 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the season. And we know that your work makes it possible for American-made goods to get to markets around the globe."
And he's right about that. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway System is a tremendously important resource. Moving goods by water lets consumers and producers save money, and it helps protect our environment by reducing carbon emissions.
This means that, through the Seaway, we can ship goods affordably from the Midwest out to the world. That includes bringing agricultural products to markets so America's farmers can thrive. And it includes exporting raw materials and finished goods so American workers can earn a good paycheck and feed their families.
Deputy Secretary Porcari also reminded Seaway professionals that, "Although too few of us in Washington have the chance to see your work firsthand, we are doing what we can to ensure you have the resources to continue maintaining the U.S. Seaway locks."
The Asset Renewal Program that the Obama Administration has supported for the Seaway is proof of that commitment. This $180 million project, launched in 2009, is performing crucial maintenance and repair to ensure that the lock system's machinery works efficiently--and reliably.
After all, billions of dollars and more than 225,000 jobs in the Great Lakes and Midwest regions count on the Snell and Eisenhower locks remaining open.
Thanks to the terrific Seaway professionals in Massena, we know that's a safe bet.