Great Lakes Legislator of the Year05/01
The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force Tuesday gave Ohio Senator Mike DeWine and Michigan Congressman
David E. Bonior Great Lakes Legislator of the Year awards. The awards are presented annually to legislators who best
advance the interests of Great Lakes shipping.
Senator DeWine has been a tireless advocate of Great Lakes shipping," said George J. Ryan, President of GLMTF and also
President of Lake Carriers' Association. "His commitment to Great Lakes shipping has been pivotal in gaining appropriations
for additional dredging and a study of physical improvements that will keep the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway a
major contributor to the region's and nation's economy."
Domestic and international cargo movement on the Great Lakes approaches 200 million tons a year. Ohio is a frequent
destination for vessels. As the second largest steelmaking state in the nation, U.S.- and Canadian-flag lakers routinely deliver
18 million tons of iron ore and other raw materials to Ohio's Lake Erie ports. Coal shipments from Ohio top 20 million tons a
year. The overseas trade represents millions of tons of general cargo and export grain.
"Senator DeWine knows cargo means jobs for American workers and opportunities for American corporations," said John D.
Baker, 1st Vice President of GLMTF and President of the ILA's Great Lakes District Council. "He's always in the forefront of
efforts to promote the system."
The U.S. build provision of the Jones Act, a reflection of ships' national defense role, is important to Ohio in other ways. "The
U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet depends on Toledo Shiprepair Company to maintain and modernize its vessels each winter," said
James Driscoll, 2nd Vice President of GLMTF and Director of Marketing for Marinette Marine Corporation. "Senator
DeWine appreciates how the build requirement of the Jones Act strengths the nation's defense capabilities.
Rep. Bonior's accomplishments are also numerous. "With Michigan having more ports than the other seven Great Lakes states
combined, it is fitting that we honor a senior member of the state's House delegation," said George J. Ryan, President of
GLMTF and President of Lake Carriers' Association. "Congressman Bonior knows that the strength of Michigan's economy is
directly tied to a healthy Great Lakes shipping industry. Domestic and international shipping to and from Michigan on the Great
Lakes generates nearly 100 million tons of cargo such as iron ore, coal, limestone and manufactured goods each year, so he
has long been a champion of the "Fourth Seacoast" in Washington."
"Congressman Bonior also understands how important it is to use the Great Lakes wisely," said John D. Baker, 1st Vice
President of the Task Force and President of the ILA's Great Lakes District Council. "Therefore, he's always balanced the
needs of commerce with protecting the precious Great Lakes environment.
U.S. law requires vessels in domestic commerce to be U.S.-owned, U.S.-crewed and U.S.-built. These requirements are set
forth in the Jones Act, the foundation of U.S. maritime policy. "Congressman Bonior was among the first in the House to sign
H. Con. Res. 65, a statement of full support for the Jones Act and related maritime statutes," said Daniel L. Smith, 2nd Vice
President of GLMTF and Vice President of American Maritime Officers. "American labor considers him a true friend who
appreciates that commerce should generate family-sustaining jobs for our citizens."
Many Michiganders work in the shipbuilding industry. "Although it's located in Marinette, Wisconsin, Marinette Marine draws
many of its workers from nearby Michigan," said James J. Driscoll, 3rd Vice President of GLMTF and Director of Marketing
for Marinette. "The vessels Marinette is building for the Coast Guard and the ferries ordered by New York City will showcase
Previous recipients of GLMTF's Legislator of the Year award include retired Ohio Senator John D. Glenn, retired Ohio
Congressman Louis Strokes, Congressmen James L. Oberstar (D-MN), David Obey (D-WI), Steven LaTourette (R-OH),
Peter Visclosky (D-IN), Jack Quinn (R-NY), and former Senator, now Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham.
Reported by: Lake Carriers' Association