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After Pushing for New Great Lakes Icebreaker Support, Peters Welcomes Funding

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) welcomed the appropriation of $5 million for the research and design of a new Great Lakes icebreaker as part of the federal funding bill the President recently signed into law. Peters pushed for and helped secure the funding, which will solidify the Coast Guard’s capability to carry out icebreaking assignments on the Great Lakes during winters with severe ice coverage.

“It is critical that members of the Coast Guard have access to the resources they need to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible,” said Senator Peters. “I advocated for this funding because it will help provide our servicemembers with the proper equipment to complete icebreaking missions that help protect our economy, environment and coastal communities.”

Currently, the USCGC Mackinaw is the only heavy icebreaker carrying out assignments in the Great Lakes. This funding will help the Coast Guard complete the research and design phase for a new heavy Great Lakes icebreaker in order to enhance icebreaking capacity. Peters previously helped secure authorization for the design and construction of a new heavy icebreaker in the Great Lakes.

This project builds on Peters’ efforts to improve Coast Guard operations in the Great Lakes. Last November, Peters helped pass bipartisan legislation, which was signed into law and will establish the U.S. Coast Guard National Center of Expertise (NCOE) for the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes NCOE would examine the impacts of and develop responses to oil spills in freshwater environments.