Shipping

The Great Lakes are often referred to as the "fourth seacoast."  U.S. and Canadian lake fleets annually haul upwards of 125 million tons of cargo, including iron ore, limestone and coal.

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WXXI News

Three massive tanks in the shape of 60-foot-tall beer cans lie on their side on a barge, as a red tugboat pushes them down the last leg of their journey along the Erie Canal.

The Genesee Beer Co. is shipping them to Rochester as part of a massive modernization project, and public relations campaign. The fermentation tanks will be used to brew millions of bottles of beer at a time and were too large to ship by truck or train.

Alex Crichton

Lake Ontario is nearly a foot and a half higher than is usual for this time of year, and New Yorkers living on the south shore are anxiously watching the water continue to rise.

Near Rochester, the village of Sodus Point is providing sandbags to homeowners.

For years, the folks who protect the Great Lakes have warned about the dangers of ballast water discharges -- because they can carry invasive species. Now a study by Michigan State researchers shows that ballast water also can contain viruses dangerous to wildlife and humans, Great Lakes Echo reports.

John Nicholls/Shutterstock

The Great Lakes shipping season officially kicks off Monday with the opening of the Welland Canal, the shipping channel that connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

This is the earliest the Canal has opened – matching the March 20th opening in 2007. But since the winter has been so mild, shipping locally has continued throughout the region.  

Mark Urycki/ideastream

Aging infrastructure in the Great Lakes region affects the availability of safe drinking water and the ability of ships to navigate the lakes.   President Trump campaigned on improving the country’s infrastructure, and one organization wants the needs of the Great Lakes at the top of the administration’s list.

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