Welcome to the USGLSA Website

Welcome to the web site of the United States Great Lakes Shipping Association. I hope you will find this to be a source of information about our organization as well as have it serve as a useful informational tool for our membership and other interested parties.

Comments from the Executive Director
Summer, 2015

As the 2015 Navigation Season continues with operators enjoying reported water levels which have not been as favorable since 1998, some other recent developments below.

VIDA Developments

The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act - VIDA continues to make progress in the House HR. 980 and Senate S. 373. As reported earlier, key elements of this Bill consist of placing the regulation and administration of ballast water management guidelines under the control of United States Coast Guard. This action would have the effect of eliminating what has been a very awkward and confusing conflict between USCG, EPA and State regulations on the subject. Recently, the Senate Commerce Committee took steps to merge this legislation with the pending Coast Guard Authorization Act which is very positive development. More to follow, but this initiative is of course worthy of industry support.

New USCG District 9 Commander for the Great Lakes Lakes

On June 3, 2015, RADM June Ryan took the helm as District 9 Commander based in Cleveland. We welcome her to the Great Lakes and look forward to continuing working effectively with Admiral Ryan and the Coast Guard on those issues affecting the Great Lakes shipping and related industries.

SLSDC Administrator Sutton Proposes New Definition of the Great Lakes Region

As featured speaker before the Cleveland City Club at its annual gathering July 17, which is dedicated to the subject of the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation SLSDC Administrator Betty Sutton provided a strong case for recognition of the significance of the industrial size and strength of the Great Lakes/ Seaway Region as well as its high potential for growth in the future. In addition, she pointed out that the Region maintains a high degree of vigilance and activity in seeking to protect the environmental quality of the Lakes which serve not only the needs of commercial water transportation, but also the need to protect this vital fresh water treasure for all citizens. It was a convincing case for the proposition that that the two elements can be harmonized. Tying this all together, she offered the proposition that rather than referring to the Region as the “Rust Belt” as has been done in recent years, a far more accurate definition is the “Opportunity Belt.” Administrator Sutton is an able and effective advocate for the Seaway and the Lakes, and we support her efforts and those of her Agency. To get information as to how you may view this address, contact the City Club for details at www.cityclub.org or call 216-621-0082.

The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership

The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership The roll out announcement for this initiative was made in June, but I wanted to remind everyone again of its existence as an ongoing and excellent source of information about Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway Shipping. Current economic performance statistics are available as well as data and other references defining the industry and the Lakes/Seaway Region. Information can be obtained by going to www.greatlakesseaway.org or calling Laura Blades at 202-558-5123.

Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee - GLPAC

At the end of September of this year, my allowed maximum term for service and the term of another Committee member will expire. The Coast Guard has advertised in the Federal Register for applicants to fill these positons and we understand that applications have been received and are being considered. As pilotage service and cost are important elements in the operating profile of the vessel operators which our Agent members serve, it will be my intention to continue to follow pilotage matters closely and to continue to advocate with Coast Guard, and elsewhere where appropriate, on behalf of USGLSA, its agents and their respective Principals.

Stuart H. Theis
Executive Director
April 7, 2015

Questions and comments are always welcome.


Stuart H. Theis, Executive Director
United States Great Lakes Shipping Association
Cleveland, Ohio
440/357-9104 (Phone)
440/357-9105 (Fax)
Exec.Director@usglsa.org (e-mail)
www.usglsa.org (web)

Reference Links

Stuart Theis

Mr. Theis, who has served as Executive Director since April 2007, is an attorney and businessman with prior associations at Cleveland, Ohio based M. A. Hanna Company and Oglebay Norton Company. At Hanna, he held a variety of legal/operational positions including Corporate Vice President with responsibilities for Hanna's Great Lakes/St Lawrence Seaway and Ocean Marine vessel and dock operations in the U. S. and Canada. While at Oglebay Norton, Mr. Theis served as President of the Company's Great Lakes fleet and dock operations. Mr. Theis is a member of the American Bureau of Shipping and serves as a member on two U. S. Coast Guard Advisory Committees, the Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee and the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee.