Portman Continues Ohio’s North Coast Tour in Cleveland, Receives 2019 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award

Portman Tours Great Lakes Towing Company and Attends Great Lakes Maritime Task Force Annual Event

August 9, 2019 | Press Releases

 CLEVELAND, OH— Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) continued his north coast tour by touring Great Lakes Towing Company, an international, full-service marine transportation organization providing towing, maintenance and repair, and new construction services. Following the tour, Portman attended the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF) annual event where he received the 2019 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year award due to his efforts to help advance commerce on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Last year, the president signed into law the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, which included Portman’s legislation to provide regulatory certainty for ballast water while ensuring the Great Lakes are protected from the spread of invasive species that can be transported from one body of water to another in a vessel’s ballast tank.

“I’m honored to be named the 2019 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year by the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force,” said Portman. “As co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, I will continue to lead the fight to protect our Great Lakes while ensuring our shipping industry in Ohio and across the region remains competitive. Lake Erie is an Ohio treasure that provides drinking water for three million Ohioans, supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, and draws millions of visitors each year. I will continue to fight to help preserve this treasure for future generations.” 

“Senator Portman understands the importance of marine transportation to our national and regional economies,” said John D. Baker, President of GLMTF in 2019.  “As co-chair of the Great Lakes Congressional Task Force, Senator Portman often works in a bipartisan way on the complex issues confronting the region.”

Traveling nearly 700 miles, along Ohio’s north coast, Portman will see federally-funded research at Ohio State’s Stone Laboratory at Gibraltar Island, host a tourism roundtable in Sandusky, visit ports in Cleveland and Ashtabula to highlight economic development, and hold his annual fishing trip and conservation roundtable in Lake County.

An independent voice for Ohio, Rob continues to be a leader in protecting our Great Lakes and the environment. As co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, Portman has taken the lead in protecting Lake Erie from harmful algal blooms, invasive species, contamination, and microbeads. Portman recently introduced legislation to reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through FY2026, which is the largest investment in the Great Lakes’ water quality and ecosystem. He successfully led efforts to reauthorize the program through the end of FY2021 and has continuously fought to preserve funding for the program despite proposed cuts from both the Obama and Trump Administrations. In January 2019, President Trump signed Portman’s Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Reauthorization Act, a primary source of federal funding for harmful algal bloom research, monitoring, and forecasting in the Great Lakes.

Photos from the event are below: