The Port of Monroe, categorized as a deep-draft commercial harbor, opened on the River Raisin where it flows into Lake Erie in 1932. Historically, the port has primarily focused on bulk commodities cargo, including huge amounts of coal to the giant Detroit Edison power plant that is its neighbor, as well as petroleum products, limestone, synthetic gypsum and liquid asphalt.
Currently, the Paul R. Tregurtha, the largest ship on the Great Lakes at 1,013 feet in length, makes weekly delivery of coal to DTE, with a capacity of almost 65,000 tons.
Limestone cement dust is also delivered to the port, where it is used to scrub DTE’s smokestacks. That scrubbing in turn creates a byproduct called synthetic gypsum, which is then shipped to Alpena.
According to a report released in September 2018 by the consulting firm of Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pa., there were 751 jobs directly associated in 2017 with the port of Monroe, generating wages and salaries of $37.6 million. “Direct” means jobs directly generated from maritime cargo movement, including port operating jobs and jobs associated with movement of the cargo via additional transportation modes such as trucking and rail.
In addition, there were 334 indirect jobs associated with the port, generating $15.7 million in wages and salaries. “Indirect” refers to jobs supporting the port, including jobs at office supply firms, maintenance and repair firms and parts and equipment suppliers.
Finally, there were about 574 induced jobs associated with the port generating $67.8 million. “Induced” means jobs associated with economic activity that is generated with direct job holders who spend money on goods and services in the region, including housing, clothing and food.
In total, in 2017, the port was associated with 1,659 jobs that generated $121.1 million in wages, salaries and consumption expenditures. Those figures are a substantial increase from 2011 figures, when it was estimated the port created 577 direct, indirect and induced jobs and $44.1 million in wages, salaries and consumption expenditures.
Most of that growth has been under Paul LaMarre, a former Navy fighter pilot who became director of the port in 2012.
“The Port of Monroe has expanded exponentially under Paul LaMarre. I’d hate to see that growth stopped because of the Detroit office of Customs and Border Protection,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg.