SAINT PAUL, Minn. – On Monday, the Minnesota House passed a resolution authored by Rep. Jen Schultz (DFL – Duluth) declaring September 7, 2019 as “Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Appreciation Day” in the state of Minnesota. The resolution calls on all Minnesotans to learn about the importance of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River to the economy and the environment of Minnesota.
“In addition to being an awe-inspiring body of water, Lake Superior is critically important for industry, commerce, habitat, recreation and tourism,” said Rep. Schultz. “We have a responsibility to restore, protect, and enhance all of our Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. I’m hopeful this day will draw attention to this group of valuable natural resources and we can keep these waters clean and healthy.”
Tourism generates a great deal of activity for Lake Superior, and the resolution notes an estimated 3.5 million people visit the North Shore every year, generating more than $1 billion annually and supporting more than 20,000 jobs.
Industries supported by Lake Superior include commercial and sport fishing, recreational boating, commodity shipping and waterborne transportation. With approximately 900 vessels and 35 million short tons of cargo moved through the Port of Duluth-Superior each year, it is the Great Lakes’ largest tonnage port and one of the top 20 in the nation. The Port supports 8,000 jobs and contributes $1.4 billion in business revenue to the regional economy. Overall, cargo shipped supports more than 237,000 jobs and $35 billion in economic activity on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System.
In the Senate, the legislation is awaiting action from the Committee on Rules and Administration.