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U.S. and Canada plan to establish a Green Shipping Corridor Network in the Great Lakes

The Mark W. Barker is the first self-propelled bulk carrier built entirely on the Great Lakes in the past 35 years.
Courtesy of Interlake Steamship Company
The Mark W. Barker is part of Interlake Steamship Company's bulk carrier fleet.

In a joint statement, the U.S. and Canadian governments said Green shipping corridors are a “important element in catalyzing development of the fuels and infrastructure needed to make the transition to low and zero-emitting shipping.”

Details for the plan and the specifics of what a Green Shipping Corridor would look like in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway weren’t made available to the public.

Debra DiCianna is with the Lake Carriers’ Association. She said there still isn’t a lot known about the carbon footprint of ships and change will take a while.

"For most of our members, vessels are older, and they're still quite efficient at doing what they do. So it's kind of hard to necessarily completely change your design or even in some cases, how do you change your engine to deal with it," said DiCianna.

DiCianna said several Great Lakes shipping companies are participating in multiple studies to better understand how to reduce emissions.

"We're trying to see what's possible out there. And I think that's why we're looking at it from, you know, gathering information, what the ships do right now. And then what are the options that can be available? Or is there something available that the ports change."

The U.S. State Department didn’t respond to our request for comment.

Rick Brewer has been news director at WCMU since February 2024.