Gibbs Named “2012 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year”

June 7, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Gibbs received the “2012 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year” from the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, the largest labor/management coalition representing workers and industries dependent on shipping on America’s Fourth Sea Coast.

“I am very honored to receive the 2012 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year award and proud to represent a district and a state that depends so much on a healthy Great Lakes maritime transportation system,” said Congressman Gibbs.  “In 2010, maritime commerce on the Great Lakes generated 226,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada, including more than 90,000 direct jobs.  Addressing the infrastructure needs of our nation’s ports is critical if we are going to build on this job growth and move raw materials and general cargo in an efficient and economical manner.”

Gibbs continued, “Maritime trade on the Great Lakes has been a critical part of our nation’s economy since America was founded, and it continues to be a tremendous force today.  And while many Americans overlook the importance of waterborne transportation because they do not regularly interact with it or understand the benefits that it brings, the economic importance of maritime trade cannot be underestimated.

“As the Chairman of the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, I have been committed to improving our waterborne transportation system, including focusing investments on infrastructure to create jobs and move commerce.  I would like to thank the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force for their hard work and dedication to addressing the infrastructure needs of Great Lakes ports to keep American farms and businesses competitive and grow American jobs.”

Eugene Caldwell, President of Great Lakes Maritime Task Force and Vice President and General Manager of Bay Shipbuilding Company said, “Bob Gibbs has gone above and beyond in representing the interests of the Great Lakes region and has distinguished himself as a leader in maritime policy and job creation.  He understands that strong infrastructure is not just good for Ohio, it’s good for America.”


With his selection as Great Lakes Legislator of the Year, Congressman Gibbs joins a select group of Ohio legislators, both past and present.  Previous recipients include Senators John D. Glenn, George J. Voinovich and Mike DeWine, and Representatives Louis Stokes, Steven C. LaTourette, Marcy Kaptur, the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Betty Sutton.

The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force was founded in 1992 in Toledo, Ohio, to promote domestic and international shipping on the Great Lakes.  Its goals include restoring adequate funding for dredging Federally maintained ports, construction of a second Poe-sized lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, so American steel mills can continue to use American iron ore; supporting the Jones Act; maximizing overseas trade via the St. Lawrence Seaway; and opposing exports of and/or increased diversions of Great Lakes water. With 82 active members it boasts being the largest coalition to ever speak for the Great Lakes shipping community.