Canals into the Great Lakes
There are two canals in the Great Lakes system.
The Welland Canal is an important waterway in the Great Lakes region. It is a man-made canal that connects Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, allowing ships to bypass Niagara Falls. The canal is an important part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which is a system of locks, canals, and channels that connect the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.
The Welland Canal helps to improve shipping in the Great Lakes region by giving ships to access to valuable cargo in the Midwest. However, the major canal is in the St. Lawrence Seaway that is managed by The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) that was established in 1959 as a joint venture between the governments of Canada and the United States. The system supports thousands of jobs and generates billions of dollars in economic activity. This cargo includes iron ore, coal, grain, limestone, cement, salt, sand, steel, petroleum products, and other commodities.
The Soo Locks (sometimes spelled Sault Locks but pronounced "soo") are a set of parallel locks, operated and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, that enable ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. They are located on the St. Marys River between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, between the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario. They bypass the rapids of the river, where the water falls 21 feet. The locks pass an average of 10,000 ships per year,despite being closed during the winter from January through March, when ice shuts down shipping on the Great Lakes.