Om Monday, the U.S. Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS) joined with its binational partner, the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC), to mark the opening of the Seaway’s 63rd navigation season.

"Moving goods by water through the Seaway ensures trade is flowing freely between the U.S. and Canada while also reducing emissions,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “After 62 years of operation, the binational Seaway System remains a model of international cooperation and partnership and showcases how we can work together to address the challenges of climate change.”

The virtual opening ceremony of the binational waterway took place at St. Lambert Lock in Montreal Canada today. DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, GLS Deputy Administrator Craig H. Middlebrook, and SLSMC President/CEO Terence Bowles all addressed the gathering remotely and welcomed the transit of the first commercial vessel of the season.

“Commercial navigation on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System is an economic foundation of the U.S. and Canadian economies,” said GLS Deputy Administrator Craig H. Middlebrook.  “More than 237,000 jobs and $35 billion in economic activity in the U.S. and Canada are annually supported by movement of various cargoes on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System.”

A ship transiting the Seaway’s 15 locks from Montreal to Lake Erie crosses the international border 27 times, and DOT and Transport Canada work closely together to ensure that this transit experience is as safe and seamless as possible.

The Baie St. Paul was the first ship to pass through the St. Lambert Lock on March 22, officially marking the start of the 63rd navigation season of the St. Lawrence Seaway.