The Great Lakes Gateway encompasses an eight-state territory beginning at the far reaches of Lake Superior in Minnesota and extending eastward across the five Great Lakes’ huge population and industrial centers to upper New York State. The connecting channels of the Illinois River from Joliet, IL, to Lake Michigan are also included. This region is known as the Nation’s Fourth Seacoast, as vital commodities critical to the regional and national economies are transported to and from the nation’s heartland. Commercial navigation on the Great Lakes is dominated by the transport of raw materials for steel manufacturing, coal-fired power production, and for industrial construction. Saltwater ships utilizing the St. Lawrence Seaway, domestic vessels as large as 1000-feet long, and barge tows making use of the Mississippi River system actively move cargos that support the region’s economy. Chicago, IL, is also the Nation’s intermodal hub as the origin and destination point of many international maritime connections.
The Great Lakes Gateway office is located in Chicago, IL. It is responsible for carrying out the Maritime Administration’s mission through the following programs and activities:
- Congestion mitigation through promotion of the America’s Marine Highway Program
- Environmental protection through support of improvements in dredging and ballast water technology
- Port and maritime security through involvement as reviewer in the Port Security Grant Program, member in area maritime security committees throughout the Lakes, and veteran member of the U. S. Department of Transportation’s Emergency Support Team
- Great Lakes Maritime Academy educational assistance through use of the Maritime Administration’s training ship, State of Michigan
- Maritime Transportation System promotion and assistance through active participation in many Great Lakes’ specific activities, groups, and forums, such as the Great Lakes Waterways Conference, Great Lakes Commission, and Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute
- Support Great Lakes’ mariner employment by publishing the U.S. Great Lakes Merchant Seaman Employment Fact Sheet
With a solid background in commercial and governmental experience in maritime and intermodal transportation, the Great Lakes Gateway Office strives to ably serve our maritime stakeholders, other governmental agencies, and people of this vital region.