The Great Lakes Group


The Great Lakes Towing Company Boosts Green Marine U.S. Great Lakes Membership

The Great Lakes Towing Company, the largest U.S.-flagged tugboat fleet operating on the Great Lakes, is the newest ship owner to join the most important voluntary environmental program for North America’s maritime industry. The Towing Company, as it is commonly known, has also enrolled its shipyard facility as a Green Marine participant – making it the first U.S. shipyard to join the program.

“We continuously strive to improve the quality and safety of our products and services,” Joe Starck, Great Lakes Towing’s president, said upon the company joining Green Marine. “As leaders in the industry, we believe we have an obligation to do what we can to make certain our commercial activities are as sustainable as possible – both in our tug operations and at our shipyard facility.”


Based in Cleveland, The Great Lakes Towing Company is a significant operational link on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes–Saint Lawrence Seaway marine transportation system. The Towing Company’s commitment to building 10 new tugboats at its Cleveland shipyard over the next five years is yet another example of its commitment to sustainability. The introduction of each new tug’s more efficient design, propulsion and automated equipment will significantly reduce air emissions and permit the company to retire two older tugs from service.

Green Marine is delighted to further expand its U.S. membership by welcoming The Great Lakes Towing Company into the environmental certification program. “By including its fleet of more than 35 tugs and its major shipyard in our program, Great Lakes Towing is reflecting its strong commitment to continually improving the sustainability of all of its operations,” David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director, said. “Great Lakes Towing’s addition to Green Marine also helps us to achieve our goal of advancing environmental excellence throughout North America’s maritime industry.”

The Green Marine environmental certification program addresses key environmental issues through 12 performance indicators that include greenhouse gases, air emissions, spill prevention, waste management, environmental leadership, and community impacts – some applicable to shipping activities, others to landside operations. The certification process is rigorous and transparent with results independently verified every two years and each company’s individual performance made public annually.

About The Great Lakes Towing Company

The Great Lakes Towing Company, an industry leader since 1899, provides essential, commercial tugboat services including ship assist and harbor towing, icebreaking and cargo transportation, and emergency services in 40 U.S. ports, and in all eight U.S. Great Lakes’ states. The company operates the largest and most experienced U.S.-flag tugboat fleet and is a significant marine operations link in North America’s U.S. Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Seaway marine transportation network –the fourth seacoast of the United States. Learn more at


About Great Lakes Shipyard

Great Lakes Shipyard, a division of The Great Lakes Towing Company, is a full-service shipyard for new vessel construction including new workboats and barges, truckable products, custom fabrication, ship maintenance and repairs, in a world-class facility that includes state-of-the-art equipment such as a 770-ton mobile Travelift and a 300-ton floating drydock. GLS facilities are located at the Company’s headquarters on the Old River Channel of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio. GLT’s shipyard expertise includes designing, building and maintaining its own fleet, as well as an extensive list of commercial and government tugboats, supply boats, ferries, barges, cruise boats, large yachts, and many other types of vessels, including larger domestic and foreign cargo vessels. The shipyard is a major contractor for the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, EPA, and many other federal, state and local governments, attesting to its high-quality workmanship, on-time performance, and competitive pricing. Learn more at


About Green Marine

Green Marine is celebrating its 10th year! The North American environmental certification program is the maritime industry’s voluntary effort to surpass regulatory requirements. It helps participants – ship owners, port authorities, terminal operators and shipyards – to reduce their environmental footprint by fostering a culture of continual improvement and by outlining the precise steps they can take to achieve higher levels of sustainability. There are currently more than 110 companies from coast to coast in Canada and the United States participating in the program. The Green Marine program’s unique character derives from the support being earned from more than 60 environmental organizations and government agencies. These supporters contribute to shaping and revising the program. Learn more at



For more information:

Joe Starck, President, The Great Lakes Towing Company & Great Lakes Shipyard
Telephone Number: 216-621-4854


Manon Lanthier, Communications Manager, Green Marine
Telephone Number: 418-649-6004 Ext. 302 | Mobile Number: 418-569-5110