Chamber of Marine Commerce President Bruce R. Burrows’ statement on high water levels in Lake Ontario and marine shipping activity via the St. Lawrence Seaway.
THUNDER BAY – “The marine shipping industry is very sensitive to the damage that is being done to homes located in the region due to flooding caused by high-water levels. Our shipowner members have reduced vessel speeds to accommodate the increase in water flow rates and to minimize any damage to shorelines. We support the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board’s decision yesterday to continue to monitor the situation and that the St. Lawrence Seaway remains open for the movement of goods in a safe and efficient manner.
The Chamber of Marine Commerce is now working closely with The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board to assess any new potential mitigation scenarios with the goal of balancing effective relief for Lake Ontario residents and minimizing disruption to commercial marine shipping via the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The St. Lawrence Seaway is a vital trade artery for both raw materials and global exports for North American industries, including the grain, manufacturing, steel, construction, mining and energy sectors. Any disruption to marine shipping via the Seaway would have profound and wide-ranging economic consequences. We estimate that should the Seaway be closed, affected shippers, maritime services providers, ports and terminal operators in Canada and the U.S. could potentially lose over $50 million in sales per day, or $1.5 billion per month.”