GREEN BAY, WI– Today, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) was recognized by the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF) as their 2022 Legislator of the Year for his unwavering commitment to protect and advance the Great Lakes maritime supply chain.
“The importance of the Great Lakes cannot be overstated. Here in Northeast Wisconsin, these lakes are crucial to not just our economy, but to our way of life, and it’s critical we do everything we can to preserve these national treasures for generations to come,” said Rep. Gallagher. “It’s an honor to be named the 2022 Legislator of the Year by the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, and I look forward to continuing my work to both protect the Great Lakes and expand opportunities for the businesses that rely on them.”
During his time in public office, Rep. Gallagher has introduced several pieces of legislation to invest in the health and prosperity of the Great Lakes.
He introduced the Supplying Help to Infrastructure in Ports, Yards, and America’s Repair Dock (SHIPYARD) Act of 2021 which would provide $25 billion to make investments needed to optimize, improve, and rebuild shipyard facilities, electrical infrastructure, environmental systems, and the equipment of public and private shipyards in the U.S. that support the U.S. Navy fleet.
He also introduced the Great Lakes Winter Commerce Act, a bill that would clearly define the U.S. Coast Guard’s responsibility for icebreaking on the Great Lakes, ensuring the flow of commerce continues even in Wisconsin’s coldest months.
Rep. Gallagher has been a supporter of increased funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and has secured a number of provisions benefitting Northeast Wisconsin and the Great Lakes in yearly Water Resources and Development Acts.
“Congressman Gallagher has helped to solidify thousands of good paying jobs for the hard-working people of Wisconsin. U.S. shipyards are critical to our national defense and Mike Gallagher continues to make that a priority,” stated Craig Perciavalle, Vice President and General Manager of Bay Shipbuilding.
“At a time when the American supply chain is struggling, Congressman Gallagher championed critical legislation to rebuild Great Lakes ports and waterways. The Port of Green Bay is grateful for the passage of WRDA 2020 and the effort Congressman Gallagher put in to ensure an equitable portion of funding for the Great Lakes Navigation System,” stated Dean Haen, Director of the Brown County Port and Resource Recovery Department. He continued, “The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force’s Legislature of the Year Award is a fitting tribute to Rep. Gallagher and acknowledges all that he has done for our region and our industry.”
“Congressman Gallagher’s support for U.S. merchant mariners, Wisconsin ports, and Wisconsin shipbuilding drives economic stability in the Great Lakes region and in the nation. Simply put, he helps to create family sustaining jobs for thousands,” stated Mark Ruge, President of the Wisconsin Domestic Maritime Coalition.
“Mike Gallagher invests in the American worker protecting sailors from damaging ice floes, advancing U.S. shipbuilding, and keeping the maritime supply chain moving on the nation’s Fourth Sea Coast,” stated John Baker, International Longshoremen’s Association and Great Lakes Maritime Task Force Vice President.
“The work done by Congressman Gallagher to correct years of neglect to the Great Lakes Navigation System during the winter months is monumental. The Great Lakes Winter Commerce Act is a great step in the right direction. In addition, the support Congressman Gallagher provided to get the Great Lakes designated as a navigation system with a guaranteed allocation of money from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund will undoubtedly serve the Great Lakes region for decades to come and that is why he is our Legislator of the Year,” stated Jim Weakley, President of the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force.
The presentation of the award was made at the U.S. Venture, Inc. facility in Green Bay. President and CEO of U.S. Venture, John Schmidt stated, “The Port of Green Bay serves as a critical link in the supply chain for gasoline, diesel, and renewable energy products supplied to Northeastern Wisconsin. We appreciate and commend Congressman Gallagher for his continued support of the Port and the Great Lakes.”
Click HERE for photos and videos from today’s event available for broadcast and distribution.