Jeramey Jannene

Milwaukee Port Director To Lead St. Lawrence Seaway

Tindall-Schlicht to oversee U.S. portion of seaway linking Great Lakes and Atlantic Ocean.

By - Nov 14th, 2022 04:32 pm
Port Milwaukee director Adam Tindall-Schlicht stands at the site of the new South Shore Cruise Dock. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Port Milwaukee director Adam Tindall-Schlicht stands at the site of the new South Shore Cruise Dock. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

On Monday, the White House formally announced Adam Tindall-Schlicht‘s appointment as administrator of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS).

Tindall-Schlicht announced his resignation as the mayoral-appointed director of Port Milwaukee on Oct. 20 for a then-unannounced job in the Biden administration.

“My position as Port Director has been the greatest experience of my professional life thus far,” said Tindall-Schlicht, 39, in a statement. “Serving the residents of the City of Milwaukee and promoting statewide economic growth through the Port’s commercial, recreational and cruise operations has been a privilege.”

Port director since 2018, Tindall-Schlicht oversaw an explosion of cruise ship traffic, construction of the largest port investment since the seaway opened, planning for a new cruise ship dock and preparation work for a multi-year, multi-jurisdictional environmental remediation effort on Milwaukee waterways to remove the federal “area of concern” designation.

The GLS is responsible for the United States portion of the seaway, which connects the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean via a system of locks, canals and rivers along the border of the U.S. and Canada. Ocean-going ships calling on Milwaukee, known as “salties,” use the 370-mile system to access the Great Lakes.

Tindall-Schlicht will now report directly to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“The GLSLSDC is a member of the [U.S. Committee on the Maritime Transportation System] and, having known Adam for many years, we are looking forward to welcoming him to the team,” said committee executive director Helen Brohl in a statement. The committee is an interagency coordination group.

The administrator role has been vacant since 2017, a fact that drew the attention of Congress and the U.S. Senate earlier this year. Forty members, including Wisconsin congressional representatives Gwen Moore and Tom Tiffany, signed onto a joint letter calling on President Joe Biden to fill the position and noted the importance of the seaway.

“Approximately 40 million tons of cargo pass through the Seaway and its navigation locks each year, supporting more than 90,000 jobs in the binational Great Lakes region,” the letter to Biden noted.

The position was last held by Betty Sutton, who was appointed to the role in 2013 by Barack Obama after she lost her re-election bid for a seat representing Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Tindall-Schlicht’s Canadian counterpart is Terence F. Bowles, who has held the role since 2010.

GLS’s operational headquarters is in Massena, NY, near the northern tip of New York. The policy headquarters is in Washington D.C. It has a regional office in Milwaukee, which according to its website is home to a single employee: former Port Milwaukee trade development specialist Peter Hirthe.

Tindall-Schlicht spent 10 years with the U.S. Department of Transportation before becoming Milwaukee’s port director. His USDOT posting immediately prior to returning home to Milwaukee was in Cleveland working for GLS as a regional representative.

GLS is constructing a new, 7,500-square-foot visitor site in Messena.

Categories: Transportation, Weekly

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