Untitled Seaway Studies

By Paul Lloyd Sargent

“Untitled Seaway Studies” is a series of images documenting the impact of the international shipping traffic on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. As a child growing up on the St. Lawrence, I was captivated by these floating monoliths from countries around the world as they passed by our cottage for ports deep within the North American Midwest. In their sheer size, they are monuments to modernism and human engineering—the very vehicles of globalism.

Unfortunately, this has come with a cost that few could foresee when the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway first opened in 1959. The Seaway– now permanently carved into the lakes and rivers stretching from Superior to the Atlantic Ocean—and the international ships that travel this route have forever altered the world’s largest supply of surface fresh water. Just as human engineering once guided us to move mountains and flood valleys, the time has come to engage human ingenuity in the search for ways to live not in opposition to but in equilibrium with our natural world.