Congressman David Joyce Named 2016 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year

David Joyce Photo

TOLEDO, OH – Ohio Congressman David Joyce (R) has been named a 2016 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year by the largest labor/management coalition representing shipping on America’s Fourth Sea Coast. Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF) annually presents the award to legislators who have promoted shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Rep. Joyce received his award at a ceremony in Washington on April 12.

"Rep. Joyce’s deep appreciation for Great Lakes shipping stems from having two major ports in his district, Ashtabula and Conneaut," said Thomas Curelli, President of GLMTF in 2016. "Countless family sustaining jobs are created by the cargo that moves across the docks in Ashtabula and Conneaut.’

"Rep. Joyce has also been a tireless advocate for adequate icebreaking resources," said Brian D. Krus, 1st Vice President of GLMTF and Senior National Assistance Vice President of American Maritime Officers. "Back in February 2015 a U.S.-flag laker bound for Conneaut became icebound for 5 days and the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker dispatched to free it was unable to get the vessel moving. Its last cargo of the season had to be cancelled. Rep. Joyce knows jobs hang in the balance when cargo can’t move during the ice season."

The dredging crisis has also had Congressman Joyce’s full attention. "The largest vessels calling on Ashtabula and Conneaut forfeit about 270 tons of cargo for each inch of loaded draft lost to inadequate dredging," said James H.I. Weakley, 2nd Vice President of GLMTF and President of Lake Carriers’ Association. "The efficiencies of Great Lakes shipping are the foundation of the Midwest economy and Congressman Joyce has been laser-focused on bringing more dredging dollars back to the Lakes."

The award also recognizes Rep. Joyce’s commitment to international shipping via the St. Lawrence Seaway. "Northern Ohio businesses have direct and efficient access to world markets because of the Seaway," said John D. Baker, 3rd Vice President of GLMTF, and President Emeritus of the ILA’s Great Lakes District Council. "Imports and exports are key to the future."

With his selection as a Great Lakes Legislator of the Year, Rep. Joyce becomes the tenth Ohio legislator to receive the award since its inception in 1998. Previous recipients are Sen. John D. Glenn (D); Rep. Louis B. Stokes (D); Rep. Steve LaTourette (R); Sen. Mike DeWine (R); Sen. George Voinovich (R); Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D); Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D); Rep. Betty Sutton (D); and Rep. Bob Gibbs (R).

Founded in 1992, Great Lakes Maritime Task Force promotes domestic and international shipping on the Great Lakes. With 84 members, 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, port authorities, cargo shippers, terminal operators, shipyards and other Great Lakes interests. Its goals include ensuring Lakes dredging is adequately funded; construction of a second Poe-sized lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; building a second heavy icebreaker for Lakes service; protecting the Jones Act and other U.S. maritime cabotage laws and regulations; maximizing the Lakes overseas trade via the St. Lawrence Seaway; opposing exports and/or increased diversions of Great Lakes water; and expanding short sea shipping on the Lakes.

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For more information contact Glen Nekvasil, Secretary: (440) 333-9996 / E-Mail: info@glmtf.org