50th Anniversary of the St. Lawrence Seaway

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 13, 2009

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Seaway was created between 1954 and 1959 and stretches 265 miles from Montreal to Lake Ontario, much of that distance along the U.S.-Canadian border. Over the last half century, the St. Lawrence Seaway has served as a crucial thoroughfare from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, and serves as an important symbol of the breadth and depth of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Canada.

The St. Lawrence Seaway serves as a conduit for an enormous amount of cross-border trade between the United States and Canada. The Seaway plays a major role in the economy of the Great Lakes region in particular. Since it first opened in 1959, more than 2.5 billion tons of cargo, valued at over $375 billion, have passed through the Seaway. The joint Seaway power project is also a model for the energy cooperation between our two countries. The St. Lawrence Seaway project features the Moses-Saunders international hydrodam, which provides low-cost power to more than 1 million citizens in both the United States and Canada. The Seaway is credited with creating and preserving millions of jobs in both the Great Lakes states and Canada.

This year marks the beginning of the biggest infrastructure investment in the Seaway's history. Both the U.S. Congress and the Canadian Parliament have budgeted tens of millions of dollars to modernize and maintain the 27-foot-deep channels and 15 locks that comprise the Seaway. This investment serves as an important testimony to the relevance of the St. Lawrence Seaway to both the United States and Canadian economies into the future. The United States and Canada are actively working together to further the positive impact of the St. Lawrence Seaway for citizens on both sides of our shared border.

PRN: 2009/718