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GLS Celebrates 70th Anniversary with Grand Opening of New Seaway Visitor Center in Massena, New York

MASSENA, NY — U.S. Department of Transportation officials were recently on hand as the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS) celebrated the grand opening of its new visitor center at the U.S. Eisenhower Lock in Massena, New York. The center will welcome visitors to the Seaway and provide a tourist attraction for the region.

“I am proud to announce the opening of the new Visitor Center at the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway in Massena, New York,” Deputy Secretary of Transportation Polly Trottenberg said. “The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System is a driver of economic development and job creation in the region. The new visitor center will not only serve as a cornerstone for tourism in the North Country region, but it will also allow tens of thousands of people from around the world to watch ships transit the lock and to learn about this vital part of the U.S. Marine Highway system.”

“The grand opening of the new Seaway Visitor Center at Eisenhower Lock, which I worked hard to deliver funding to support, is a big day for our St. Lawrence River communities, and the culmination of a years-long effort to bring much-needed upgrades to an essential transportation link and tourist destination,” Senator Chuck Schumer said. “Each year, tens of thousands of tourists visit Massena to witness ships passing through the iconic Eisenhower Lock, and now they will have the modern facility needed to make their visit one to remember. These upgrades will provide a major boon to tourism and give families a proper welcome with top-notch amenities. I fought to ensure this new Visitor Center would open, and now it’s ready to further revitalize the entire North Country, bringing economic energy to our downtown and scenic communities. I am proud to have fought for and delivered the $6 million in federal funding that made this possible and will always work to boost our tourism economy in the North Country.”

During the grand opening ceremony, Trottenberg and GLS Administrator Adam Tindall-Schlicht were joined by U.S. and Canadian dignitaries, along with a gathering of Great Lakes Seaway System stakeholders.

This modern facility not only showcases the Seaway’s rich history, but is also a major North Country destination and is expected to draw over 100,000 visitors annually. As the new center opens its doors, the GLS invites the public to explore the past, present, and future of this vital waterway.

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“As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Wiley-Dondero Act, which created the St. Lawrence Seaway, we reflect on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System’s performance and how it continues to highlight its resiliency and importance as a global maritime supply chain,” Tindall-Schlicht said. “Watching ships coming through the Lock is not only important to the economy of the area, but it holds cherished memories for many who have grown up or spent their summers here.”

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System provides maritime commerce with environmentally friendly cargo movement that supports jobs in the U.S. and Canada and helps address joint climate goals. More than 241,000 jobs and $36 billion in economic activity in the U.S. and Canada are supported annually by the movement of various cargoes on the Seaway System — more than 135 million metric tons of cargo each year. Hundreds of ships from all over the world make multiple trips through the St. Lawrence Seaway annually, moving grain, iron ore, coal, steel, stone, and large cargoes such as windmill components.

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