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Great Lakes Port Initiatives

The Great Lakes-Seaway System marine industry is working to improve its environmental performance and provide a more sustainable service for its clients and the public at large.

From innovative technologies that enhance ship performance to industry-wide environmental initiatives designed to increase accountability, the companies that use and oversee this vital waterway are committed to a process of continuous improvement.

A number of Great Lakes ports have sponsored or co-sponsored notable projects to improve the environment. Marine Delivers presents four examples of the types of initiatives being carried out.


Cat Island Chain Restoration Project

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Dredged materials provide environmental benefits

After decades of planning, the Cat Island Chain Restoration Project began in October 2012. Project partners, which include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Brown County, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, UW-Sea Grant, UW-Green Bay, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Fox River Group of paper mills, have worked since the mid-1990s to design a restoration plan for the island chain using navigation channel dredged materials. Read more.

Cleveland Nature Preserve

Cleveland, Ohio

Unique Wildlife Habitat

The Port of Cleveland works with key stakeholders to find innovative solutions for infrastructure challenges – and does it in a way that creates community assets. Read more.

Erie Pier CDF/Processing & Reuse Facility

Duluth, Minnesota

Reusing Dredged Material

To maintain adequate depth of shipping channels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers annually removes sand and silt that naturally accumulate. Typically, the dredged material is stored on large tracts of land known as confined disposal facilities (CDFs). Locating and constructing a new CDF is difficult and expensive. Read more.

Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan

Hamilton, Ontario

A Major Harbour Clean-Up

The Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (commonly called the "RAP") is a detailed strategy to clean up Hamilton Harbour, which would result in the “delisting” of the harbour as an “Area of Concern.” Addressing the issue of contaminated sediment is one of the priorities of the Hamilton Harbour RAP. Read more.

Harborside International Golf Course

Chicago, Illinois

Land Reclamation Success

Formerly a 220-acre garbage dump, this property on the south side of Chicago was converted in the early 1990s to recreational use by the Illinois International Port District (Port of Chicago). The facility is now home to Harborside, a popular 36-hole public golf course, golf teaching facility and clubhouse. Read more.