Green Named Top Lakes Legislator

TOLEDO, OH---Wisconsin Congressman Mark Green (R-8th) has been named Great Lakes Legislator of the Year by Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, the largest coalition representing the Great Lakes maritime community. The award is presented annually to legislators who best advance the interests of Great Lakes shipping in Congress. Rep. Green will receive the award on May 11 at the Task Force's 10th Annual Informational Breakfast for the Great Lakes Delegation in Washington.

"Rep. Green has been an ardent supporter of Great Lakes shipping since being elected to the House of Representatives in 1998," said Daniel L. Smith, President of Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF) and National Vice President, Great Lakes, American Maritime Officers. "He was an enthusiastic proponent of the new Great Lakes icebreaking buoy tender Mackinaw which was just launched on April 2."

"Mark Green is a true friend of the Great Lakes Jones Act fleet," said James H. I. Weakley, 1st Vice President of GLMTF and President of Lake Carriers' Association. "He understands that in a post 9/11 world, having ships that are U.S.-owned, -built and -crewed is a vital element of our national security as well as a foundation of our economic strength."

"Rep. Green's commitment to Great Lakes shipping reflects Wisconsin's leading role in the industry," noted John D. Baker, 2nd Vice President of GLMTF and President of the International Longshoremen's Association's Great Lakes District Council. "The State boasts some of the busiest ports on the Great Lakes. Sturgeon Bay, Marinette and Superior are home to major shipyards and repair facilities."

"Support for Wisconsin's shipyards has been a hallmark of Rep. Green's legislative career," said Patrick J. O'Hern, 3rd Vice President of GLMTF and Vice President and General Manager of Bay Shipbuilding Company. "Many foreign nations heavily subsidize their shipbuilding industries. U.S. yards get no subsidies, but Wisconsin's shipyards are busy building and repairing American hulls because Congressman Green has worked tirelessly to advance ship construction in the United States."

"A vibrant shipping industry in the Great Lakes means a healthier economy in Wisconsin," Green said. "Since arriving in Congress I have fought alongside GLMTF to protect the Great Lakes maritime industry, and I'm proud of the victories we've scored. This award is a wonderful honor, and I look forward to continuing my efforts with the Task Force on behalf of the Great Lakes in the future."

The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force was founded in Toledo, Ohio, in 1992 to promote domestic and international shipping on the Great Lakes. It is the largest coalition to ever speak for the Great Lakes shipping community and draws its membership from both labor and management representing U.S.-Flag vessel operators, shipboard and longshore unions, shipyards, and other Great Lakes interests. Its goals include construction of a second Poe-sized lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; protecting the nation's cabotage laws; maximizing the Lakes overseas trade; increasing funding for annual dredging of ports and waterways; and opposing exports and increased diversions of Great Lakes water.

This is not the first time GLMTF has selected a Wisconsin legislator to receive this award. The Task Force honored Congressman David R. Obey in 2000.

Wisconsin-based members of Great Lakes Maritime Task Force are: Bay Shipbuilding Company (Sturgeon Bay); Fraser Shipyards, Inc. (Superior); Marinette Marine Corporation (Marinette); Midwest Energy Resources Company (Superior); and Western Great Lakes Pilots Association (Superior).

For more information contact:
Glen G. Nekvasil
Secretary, Great Lakes Maritime Task Force