U.S., Canadian coast guard leaders reinvest in Great Lakes stewardship

Rear Adm. June E. Ryan, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Ninth District, joined Assistant Commissioner Julie Gascon of the Canadian Coast Guard, Central and Arctic Region at the Grand Haven, Michigan Coast Guard Festival August 5. The two leaders met to review and sign the annual update of the operational annex to the Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan between the U.S. and Canada, commonly referred to as the CANUSLAK Plan.

This ongoing agreement positions the two agencies to meet rapidly evolving and complex threats by speeding up the sharing of information, equipment and personnel between countries in the event of a cross-border spill.

“We greatly appreciate our close partnership with the Canadian Coast Guard on our shared waterways,” said Ryan. “Crews from both countries play a vital role in ensuring the safe movement of cargoes, flood mitigation, search-and-rescue and a unified approach to responding to environmental incidents, and we look forward to further strengthening this partnership in years to come.”

“Our brave Coast Guard personnel on both sides of the border have a critical role in fostering safe, secure and environmentally responsible maritime activity on the Great Lakes, Georgian Bay and connecting waterways,” said Gascon.

The CANUSLAK annex of the Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan between the U.S. and Canada covers the Great Lakes boundary between Canada and the U.S., defines the CANUSLAK Joint Response Team and is regularly tested and improved in an ongoing series of exercises and real-world events.

Similar agreements exist for search-and-rescue, the coordination of icebreaking operations and maritime security on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway.

Maritime Editorial