National Maritime Day a moment to celebrate shipping and its impact

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Ninety years ago, Congress declared National Maritime Day to commemorate the American steamship Savannah’s voyage from the United States to England, marking the first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean with steam propulsion. 

On Monday, down in Canal Park, the shipping community celebrated as well with a program at The Garden.

Adam Tindall-Schlicht, the presidentially appointed Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation administrator, gave the keynote address.

He told the group that he believes this is a transformational time for the industry. “The advent of green shipping. Looking at growing the activity of ports like Duluth-Superior, but doing it from an increasing green lens. One where coastal resiliency and decarbonization are at the forefront.”

Tindall-Schlicht added that cruising and cargo container shipping are also bright spots.

Dr. Richard Stewart received the Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement. He’s dedicated his life to maritime transportation.

He told us he was humbled and honored by this. “They only give it out every few years, and it’s the highest peacetime award given out in the Merchant Marine,” Stewart shared.

As for all the lakers and salties everyone loves to see, he said they are more than just vessels passing by on the pier. “They connect us. 95% of everything we use in the United States, that’s imported or exported, traveled by ship.”