Last night’s Channel 9 newscast and this morning’s Post-Standard both had stories on the big doin’s up at the Port of Oswego. The TV report focused on the increased current traffic at the Port, and the PS story was about how Oswego has been selected for one of the first container-shipping terminals in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence system. This is indeed big news, especially since the new, Nova Scotia-based enterprise would shave a day off of container shipping to New York City. (NYC, I believe, also has some issues with the depth of its harbor — some expensive dredging still needs to take place to accommodate the newer breed of container ships. I wonder if Halifax has solved those issues.)
The local news stories are no doubt prominent because of the possibility of increased jobs at the Port. However, there is a much bigger picture and it’s one that I dimly recall blogging about some years ago — a new North American economic region some call Atlantica, supported by some big-business interests and decried by others. Oswego, and Syracuse and other parts of Central, Western and Northern New York lie within Atlantica’s proposed economic sphere of influence. (Think of an economic engine that had the port of Halifax, not New York City, at its head.)
It’s a radically new way of thinking about Upstate New York’s possible future (and the future for all the Great Lakes region and many depressed Rust Belt cities), although most of the talk about it focuses on Canada.