SAULT SAINTE MARIE, Mich. – This morning at 0900 Commander, Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie concluded its domestic ice breaking operation, aka Operation Taconite. With the ice throughout the Western Great Lakes nearly melted, ice breaking in support of commercial navigation is no longer required.
During the 122 days of the 2015 Domestic Ice Breaking Operation (02 Jan-04 May), Op Taconite resources (7 USCG Cutters and 3 Canadian CG Ships) delivered 3181 hrs of ice breaking to assist 677 vessel transits; 353 of these transits (200 US 145 CA 08 Foreign Flagged vessels) required direct icebreaking assistance. Ice breaking resources spent an additional 3568 hrs establishing and maintaining tracks in the ice choked waterways of Georgian Bay, Straits of Mackinac, Green Bay, southern Lake Michigan, St Marys River, and Lake Superior in its entirety. It is estimated more than 23 million tons of dry bulk and liquid cargoes, valued at $829 Million U.S. dollars, were shipped during the 122 days of the ice breaking operation. These commodities were crucial to sustaining industrial production and power generation for the Great Lakes region during the winter months.
Further inquiries can be made by phone to Sault Vessel Traffic Service at (906) 635-3232 or via email at SOOTFC@USCG.MIL.