Gateway to the Fresh Coast.
An engineering marvel, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System connects North America’s freshwater Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean and the world. Massive binational efforts completed the Seaway and opened it to deep-draft navigation in 1959. Today, more than 200 million tons of freight sail the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System each year. In fact, 24 of the top 100 tonnage ports in the United States are located on the Great Lakes.
Cargo moving on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System supports $46 billion in economic activity and nearly 330,000 jobs. If it was its own country, the region’s economic output would rank as the world’s third largest. In a typical year, three quarters of all Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System traffic travels North American trade routes. The remainder travels to and from overseas ports.