This graphic shows the aging infrastructure around the Great Lakes. Now is the time for drastic redevelopment--in advancing and innovating infrastructure and trade networks, new economic gains are there to be had. Redevelopment of this trade network is essential to redevelopment of the shipping industry and the economy generally. More information on this can be found here: http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2010/09/27-great-lakes
Shipping industries are more fuel efficient and produce less carbon dioxide emissions per ton of cargo hauled than both the trucking and rail alternatives. More information and examples of the relative efficiency of maritime transportation can be found by clicking graphic (page 80).
Because of increased congestion on motorways, stricter boarder crossings, etc., trucking is becoming less efficient. Therefore, the shipping industry should continue to see growth in the coming years. Alternatives like "short sea shipping" are viable options for would-be truck routes. This would decrease congestion, decrease costs, and decrease CO2 emissions. More on this found by clicking on graphic (page 112).
Rivers provide nutrients that are necessary for the wildlife of the Great Lakes. The health and livelihood of the lakes are dependent upon the health and livelihood of the water flowing from the river mouths. (Graphic: Seelbach, Carlson Mazur / Great Lakes Rivermouth Ecosystem Collaboratory)
The river mouth ecosystem and character is affected by all of its surrounding factors. In order to better understand how to implement protection and restoration projects on river mouths, scientific initiatives are currently underway. More information on a current initiative can be found here: http://cida.usgs.gov/glri/projects/accountability/rivermouth_ecosystems.html (Graphic: GLRI project / Seelbach, Richardson)
This "Seasnake" conceptual graphic shows SSWWMLLC's plans for an environmentally friendly, ballast-free ship. With a train-like design, it connects cargo modules with pin-joint connectors that, among other economic and environmental benefits, allows the ship to detach modules off at different ports. More information on this ship can be found here: http://www.seasnake.net/
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