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03-29-15:  Grand 2nd Vice President Lee Barnhill welcomes first ship of the season at Stoneport, MI
News Video      Picture

Lodge Newsletter & Updated Schedule of Events

The US Coast Guard posted a Fact Sheet regarding the recent final rule expanding the carriage and utilization requirements for the automatic identification system (AIS) so as to be consistent with provisions of the SOLAS Convention.  (Brought to our attention by Bryant's Maritime Consulting). 

Obituary: Carol L. LaPlante - Widow of lodge member George LaPlante

Coalition calls for action on vessel discharge regulation

President’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget provides $69 million for Great Lakes projects

The U.S. Coast Guard has compiled a complete list of all their Safety Alerts issued from 1996 through 2014.  

02-12-15:  Obituary:  Dorothy Martin "Dottie" Crowley -Widow of lodge member Jerry Crowley.  Passed away on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at age 91. 

Obituary:  Capt. Warren F. Fuller - ISMA Pennant No. 9857.  Passed away on January 26, 2015 in Tucson, AZ at the age of 95.  Capt. Fuller was a member of Detroit Lodge No. 7 for 54 years. 

Capt. Joseph Walters is sworn in as Grand Lodge President.  
           Duluth News-Tribune Article               Video           

01-22-15:  January-February Grand Lodge Newsletter

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) Implores Senate Leadership to Support Jones Act

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) takes to senate floor to defend Jones Act (Video)

Coalition of Great Lakes interests - including ISMA - rise to defend the Jones Act

American Maritime Partnership:
McCain Amendment To Eliminate U.S. Shipbuilding Would Outsource U.S. Jobs & Security

To Contact your senator & voice opposition to the McCain amendment, CLICK HERE

Lodge Newsletter

Lake Carriers Association calls for a 2nd MACKINAW-class icebreaker on the Great Lakes

Obituary: Past Grand President Jeremiah 'Jerry' Bissette of Niagara District Lodge No. 20 passed away on Monday, January 5, 2015 in St. Catharines, Ontario at the age of 84.  Arrangements are being handled by the Haine Funeral Home in Thorold, Ontario.  Captain Bissette served as Grand Lodge President in 2009. 

Lodge Newsletter

Congress Reaffirms Support for Jones Act and U.S. domestic maritime industry

Member Fr. Russ Kohler interviewed for Detroit News artcile about Most Holy Trinity Church and its programs to help needy children. 

In Memory of Oscar Rosso August 8, 1928 - December 10, 2009

November-December Grand Lodge Newsletter

11-29-14:  Lodge Newsletter & Schedule of Events

11-25-14:  Lodge member Jay Downen is featured in Wall Street Journal article.

10-28-14:  Past lodge president Jerry Crowley, who passed away in 2012, was a noted marine artist and a longtime member of Detroit Lodge No. 7.  A special event, billed The Art of Jerry Crowley has been announced. The Opening Reception and Sale will be held on Thursday, November 6 with the Exhibition and Sale to follow on Friday and Saturday, November 7 & 8 at the Provencal-Weir House in Grosse Pointe. Proceeds will benefit the Grosse Pointe Historical Society. Click here for a promotional flyer

Obituary: Capt. Andrew F. Rajner, Sr. - ISMA Pennant No. 10072. A member of Toledo Lodge No. 9; he passed away October 27, 2014 at the age of 89.  Capt. Rajner sailed with Oglebay-Norton Company for 30 years, retiring in 1976.  

Lodge Newsletter

  Obituary: Past Lodge President Frederic E. Weber - ISMA Pennant No. A-1293. A member of Detroit Lodge No. 7 for over 50 years, Mr. Weber passed away on October 19, 2014 at the age of 89.  In honoring Fred's wishes, there will be no funeral or visitation.  

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its report on the bridge accident involving Detroit’s Jefferson Avenue Bridge and the S/S Herbert C. Jackson in May 2013.

10-14-14:  Lodge member Bill Redding is interviewed by Michigan Public Radio for a report about the J.W. Westcott Company and its long history serving the Port of Detroit.  Click Here for Audio

Detroit Lodge No. 7 member Jim Anderson and his wife Patti have announced a $25 million gift to Wayne State University's College of Engineering.  Detroit Free Press article

10-05-14:  Crain's Detroit Business interviewed John Loftus, the new executive director of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority, who said the agency will concentrate its efforts on maritime issues rather than seeking broader economic development powers away from the Detroit River.       Click here to read the full article

Detroit Free Press article and video featuring lodge member Arlene Earl (aka The Flower Lady).  Lodge members Paul Jagenow and Jack Callahan are also interviewed. 

September-October Grand Lodge Newsletter

Obituary: Capt. Donald C. Schmidt - Pennant No. 10663; Passed away September 23, 2014 at the age of 74.  Long-time owner-operator of Michigan Marine Salvage on the Clinton River in Harrison Township.  Capt. Schmidt was a member of Detroit Lodge No. 7 for 33 years: from 1980 to 2013. 

09-26-14: The National Transportation Safety Board has published Safer Seas 2013: Lessons Learned from Marine Accident Investigations, a 43-page summary of the 21 incidents investigated by the NTSB in 2013.  To read the entire report, Click Here

09-24-14: The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are seeking feedback on the 21st Century / Future of Navigation initiative. 
(Brought to our attention by Bryant's Maritime Consulting).

The Canadian Shipowners Association (CSA) has issued a statement in support of Canada's cabotage law, amid concerns that it may be jeopardized in the current negotiations with the European Union.  Four U.S. maritime unions have also issued a statement in support of Canada's domestic shipping industry.  (ISMA has repeatedly supported cabotage laws in both the U.S. and Canada).

09-24-14:  U.S. Rep Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has introduced H.R. 5609, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, which would establish a nationally uniform framework for the regulation of ballast water and other vessel discharges. It is a companion bill to S. 2094, which was approved by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in July.  H.R. 5609 will replace the current regulatory system in which two federal agencies and more than two dozen states regulate vessel discharges in overlapping and sometimes contradictory ways with a uniform, federal framework.  The ISMA Navigation Legislative and Engineering Committee has contacted most Great Lakes legislators in support of this bill.    

A new publication, the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook has replaced the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules, International-Inland (COMDTINST M16672.2D). Besides containing updated material to the previous book, it has additional pertinent navigation regulations, such as Vessel Traffic Management rules.  The handbook is freely available at the U.S. Coast Guard’s Navigation Center website, but is not available in government printed form. Future changes to the handbook will be published in the USCG Local Notices to Mariners.

American Maritime Partnership: Domestic American Maritime Industry is Booming

Lodge member Garrett Myers is interviewed for Detroit Free Press article about the Erie Canal.

July-August Grand Lodge Newsletter

The Transportation Security Administration has announced the agency's 'OneVisit' program is now a
vailable everywhere.  Under this program, Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) cards can be mailed directly to an applicant's home address or other location, rather than applicants having to return to an enrollment center to pick up the card.   For additional details, visit the TWIC website

07-28-14:  Lodge member Sam Buchanan interviewed by the Detroit Free Press regarding the services provided by J.W. Westcott Company on the Detroit River.  Click Here for article & video

Great Lakes Maritime Task Force:  Lakes Legislators Play Key Role in Boost to Corps Funding

Lake Carriers' Association: Lakes Water Levels Coming Back, But Not Full Loads

WDIV in Detroit airs story about the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet program and interviews lodge member Luke Clyburn.   Click here for story & video

Coalition calls on Senate Committee to consider Vessel Discharge Legislation.
S.2094 would create a uniform, science-based national framework for the regulation of ballast water and other vessel discharges.

President Obama has signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) into law.  The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force and ISMA have been advocating for the passage of this legislation, which, among other things will recognize the Great Lakes as a single navigation system, giving the system a greater presence.       News Article           Video

The National Maritime Center has advised mariners to submit applications for renewals at least 90 days prior to credential expiration.  Click Here for the complete announcement.  

May-June Grand Lodge Newsletter

The US Coast Guard is proposing to establish a special load line-exempted route along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan between Calumet Harbor and Muskegon.  Comments should be submitted by August 25.  The ISMA Navigation Committee has not taken a position on this issue.

Eleven Great Lakes senators press Army Corps of Engineers on evaluation of Soo Locks replacement project

05-15-14:  The White House has released a video in which Vice President Biden discusses why investment in American ports is important to the US economy. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued an amended proposal regarding boundary expansions for the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (NMS).  Comments on the revised proposal should be submitted by 9 June.  79 Fed. Reg. 26654(Courtesy of Bryant's Maritime Consulting).

Obituary: Capt. Robert Bruce Hull - ISMA Pennant No. 10597.  Passed away unexpectedly on May 2, 2014.  Capt. Hull was a 1976 graduate of Georgian College, and worked as a pilot with the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority-District 3.  Capt. Hull and his wife Julianne were regular attendees of recent ISMA conventions, and strong supporters of the ISMA.  At the 2014 convention in Sault Ste. Marie, Capt. Hull was appointed Grand Lodge Chaplain.  He was a member of Georgian Bay-Huronia Lodge No. 15, where he currently held the office of secretary-treasurer.   

04-21-14:  March-April Grand Lodge Newsletter

Obituary: Capt. Elmer V. Dunn - ISMA Pennant No. 10349

03-27-14:  "American maritime industry a strong asset to U.S. economy, national security"
A commentary in the March 25 edition of the Washington Times by Congressmen Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Steve Scalise (R-LA).  

NE Michigan Lodge 19 greets first ship of the season arriving in port of Alpena

03-21-14:  The National Transportation Safety Board has issued the investigative report of an engine room fire aboard the towing vessel Marguerite L. Terral in June of 2012 on the Lower Mississippi River.  Several lessons can be learned from this incident.

National Maritime Center to begin issuing automatically post-dated mariner credentials

National Maritime Center changes merchant mariner appeal process.

Obituary: Capt. William A. Vallier - ISMA Pennant No. 10125

Lodge Newsletter

03-12-14:  CNBC reports from US Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock (2 video clips).

03-11-14:  Video: Memorial ceremony held for Past Grand President Dean Hobbs.

03-04-14: The USCG has revised its list of buoys & lighthouses they propose to discontinue.  Additions to the list include 4 buoys in Cleveland Harbor, and 4 buoys in Conners Creek area of the Detroit River.  Due to opposition from the maritime community, Rock of Ages light has been removed from the list.  Although the Rock of Ages lighthouse structure has been transferred to the National Park Service, the Coast Guard will continue to operate the Federal aid to navigation.

03-01-14:  The U.S. Coast Guard has presented lodge member Norman Raymond with the Captain David P. Dobbins Award for his role in rescuing two persons from the Detroit River on August 11, 2013.  Click Here for the news article.   

02-26-14:  The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, of which ISMA is a member, has issued its annual report for 2013.  

The Navigation, Engineering and Legislative Committee is asking all U.S. ISMA members to contact their Senators & Representative and ask that more capable helicopters be assigned to the two USCG Air Stations on the Great Lakes.     Sample Letter     
To find the names and addresses of your representatives, Click Here.

NOAA has announced that PDF versions of their nautical charts will become a permanent product, free to the public.   NOAA Press Release

Coalition asks for USCG rule change allowing river barge traffic in Port of Muskegon.
ISMA has not taken an official position on the proposed change.
  Lodge member Capt. Luke Clyburn receives the Chairman's Medal from the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Program.

  At its meeting today, the Board of Governors of Detroit Lodge No. 7 approved donations to the Noble Odyssey Foundation, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, and the Lost Mariners Remembrance event, scheduled for November 10, 2014 at Dossin Museum.

The USCG has approved or proposed plans to discontinue 44 buoys and 2 lighthouses on the Great Lakes. The ISMA Navigation Engineering and Legislative Committee is evaluating the list and will be commenting on several of the proposed changes.  

02-14-14:  Obituary: Capt. Robert D. Waller, ISMA Pennant No. 11830.  Member of Detroit Lodge No. 7 from 1999-2012. 

02-13-14: Meeting in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for its annual convention, the ISMA Grand Lodge unanimously approved a proposal to advocate for the assignment of longer-range Jayhawk helicopters to the USCG air stations on the Great Lakes. 

02-13-14:  Meeting in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for its annual convention, the ISMA Grand Lodge approved a proposal advocating the construction and use of portable gangways at the Soo Locks. 

02-03-14:  January-February Grand Lodge Newsletter

01-22-14:  The USCG has issued a Medical Certificate NVIC (Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular) providing guidance for the issuance of medical certificates under the STCW code.

01-22-14: The USCG has issued a Basic Training NVIC (Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular) providing guidance for qualification and revalidation in Basic Training (BT), formerly known as Basic Safety Training (BST). 

01-17-14:  Lodge Newsletter

01-15-14:  New Nautical Chart Issued for St. Marys River - The first edition of Chart 14887 (St. Marys River – Vicinity of Neebish Island) is available this week as a paper print-on-demand chart, PDF, and raster navigational chart. The electronic navigational chart will be available by March.

01-10-14:  Medical Certificate Issuance - In response to changing procedures associated with the  STCW Convention, the Coast Guard is issuing separate medical certificates to certify mariner compliance with minimum medical standards. For more information, click here.

12-16-13:  November - December Grand Lodge Newsletter

12-01-13:  Lodge member John Jamian writes column for Detroit Free Press emphasizing the importance of Great Lakes shipping.

10-22-13:  NOAA announces discontinuance of traditional paper nautical charts.

08-28-13:  Lodge No. 7 & Great Lakes Maritime Institute work to preserve relics from storm of 1913

08-22-13:  National Transportation Safety Board releases report on fire aboard the Patrice McAllister (formerly known as the tug Cleveland) which occurred on Lake Ontario on March 27, 2012.  Five crewmembers were injured and the Chief Engineer lost his life in this incident.

07-30-13:   Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Chairman of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee cited the critical role of America’s domestic maritime industry in an op-ed at

05-09-13:  C&G News: U.S. Navy Cuts Funding to Regional Sea Cadet Program
Note: At this time of federal budget cuts, the Sea Cadet program is reaching out to the public for financial assistance.  To make a tax deductible contribution, visit  

04-09-13:  Detroit Lodge No. 7 reiterated its support of Senate Bill 0266 and House Bill 4489, which have been introduced in the Michigan Legislature. Both bills would bring Michigan's ballast water regulations in-line with laws of neighboring states and provinces.  The lodge intends to contact various senators & representatives in support of this legislation. Sample letter to Senator
Sample letter to Representative

04-05-13: A recent Detroit News article details how Mariners’ Church of Detroit helped sailors and guided escaped slaves to freedom.  Lodge member Fr. Rich Ingalls, Jr. is quoted in the article along with Fr. Jesse Roby.

04-05-13:  Joseph Cabadas of the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) wrote a Feature article on  Mariners’ Church of Detroit.  The article summarizes Mariners’ history along with member connections to the DAC, including Ivan Ludington, who for many years presented the Captain Lewis Ludington Award at Mariners’ Blessing of the Fleet services.

03-31-13: Help Save the SS United States.  Join the global effort! Visit an interactive website to explore the SS United States, learn her history and select a piece of America's Flagship to call your own.

03-28-13:  State Senator advocates easing Michigan's Ballast Water Restrictions

03-03-13: Newspaper article mentions ISMA, Capt. Seann O'Donoughue, and the pending closure of Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio. 

02-16-13:  The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that overall US maritime cargo volumes on the Great Lakes are recovering from the extreme lows experienced in 2009. The report, Status of the US-Flag Great Lakes Water Transportation Industry finds that the US Great Lakes maritime industry is generally healthy and providing efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly transportation services.   (Brought to our attention by Bryant's Maritime Consulting).

02-14-13:  Important Announcement regarding the Grand Lodge Newsletter moving to electronic format.  Members are urged to have a valid e-mail address on file with their local lodge secretary.  E-Mail updates and corrections can be sent to

02-12-13: Study says Great Lakes Shipping is the most carbon friendly, efficient mode of transportation

02-01-13:  The U.S. Coast Guard has posted an 85-page compilation of safety alerts, safety advisories, and lessons learned from 2008-2012.   (Brought to our attention by Bryant's Maritime Consulting).

01-22-13:  Lodge member Larry Stephenson and his wife Carol write article for Grosse Pointe Yacht Club's magazine about crossing Lake Michigan aboard the carferry Badger with Past Grand President Capt. Dean Hobbs. 

11-05-12:  The USCG has issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin advising owners, operators, and masters of US vessels operating in Canadian waters of changes to engineer manning requirements. Effective October 26, 2013, Canada will require US vessels, under their Marine Personnel Regulations, to perform an engineering watch on vessels having a propulsive power of at least 750 kW (1000 HP). The Canadian regulations will apply to vessels en route to and from a Canadian port. These regulations will not apply to US vessels transiting through Canadian waters from one US port directly to another. The Canadian regulations will primarily affect US uninspected vessels such as towing vessels, but have the potential to affect certain small-passenger vessels falling below the US tonnage threshold for a Chief Engineer.

10-15-12: The US Coast Guard has issued a Final Rule stating that speed limits will no longer apply to the 2.5 mile section of the Detroit River between Detroit River Light and Light D33.  The ISMA Navigation, Legislative, and Engineering Committee (NELC) has been advocating for this change.



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