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The Canadian Coast Guard’s (CCG) annual icebreaking season on the Great Lakes, which provides assistance to the shipping industry, is now underway.
Working in partnership with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) District 9, the CCG has two icebreakers assigned to the Great Lakes for the entire winter season: CCGS Griffon and CCGS Samuel Risley. These vessels are supported as required by additional CCG vessels after the St. Lawrence Seaway reopens in March 2022.
In addition to icebreaking for the shipping industry, both Coast Guards work to prevent the formation of ice jams and flooding in communities. Problems occur when ice accumulates and blocks the flow of a river. That obstruction, known as an ice jam or ice plug, can cause flooding as water builds up and overflows the banks.
Coast Guard ships are also at the ready to respond to environmental incidents or other urgent or humanitarian emergencies.