Via Fax: (202) 228-0282
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
SUBJECT: DIVERSION OF GREAT LAKES WATER
Dear Senator Clinton:
Great Lakes Maritime Task Force is the largest coalition ever to promote Great Lakes shipping and related industries. Three of our members are headquartered in New York State, including American Steamship Company, the largest U.S.-Flag fleet on the Lakes.
We are writing to thank you for your recent response to an Associated Press survey in which you stated that "you would not overrule a State's lawful right to protect its water supplies." As you said, "the Lakes are one of our most precious natural resources."
The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System is also a precious resource for the American economy, and that's another reason we must protect these waters from increased diversions. The largest U.S.-Flag vessels working the Great Lakes forfeit nearly 270 tons of cargo for each inch of reduced draft. Ocean-going vessels trading through the Seaway surrender 115 tons per inch of lost draft. The most recent cargo reports show that the dredging crisis and falling water levels are costing the largest ships 6,000-8,000 tons of cargo each trip. Congress can solve the dredging crisis by adequately funding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Great Lakes efforts, but once our water has been shipped elsewhere, it is gone forever.
Again, on behalf of our 73 members throughout the eight Great Lakes States, we thank you for your support for keeping our water in our region.
John D. Baker, President
Patrick J. O'Hern, 1st Vice President-Positions & Resolutions
Daniel L. Smith, 2nd Vice President-Membership
James H.I. Weakley, 3rd Vice President-Government Relations