Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature
Skip Navigation Links > >

Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Seaway Port Authority of Duluth

Also known as:
Duluth Seaway Port Authority
Active dates:1955 -

The Duluth Seaway Port Authority is an independent public agency created by the Minnesota Legislature to foster regional maritime commerce, promote trade development, facilitate industrial development and serve as an advocate for port interests in the region and around the world.


The Duluth Seaway Port Authority (DSPA) is a public agency created by state statute in 1955 to expand and improve facilities at the Port of Duluth-Superior in anticipation of the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959. Two years later, with $10 million in public funding, the Port Authority created the 120-acre Clure Public Marine Terminal, the port's only general cargo facility.

The Port of Duluth-Superior is the largest tonnage port on the Great Lakes and continues to rank among the top 25 ports in the U.S., handling an average of 35 million short tons of cargo and hosting nearly 900 vessel visits each year.

Like port authorities and harbor commissions worldwide, the DSPA mission is to generate domestic and international trade, advance regional industrial development, and advocate for maritime industry interests in legislative initiatives.

The Port Authority also owns and manages multiple waterfront properties, including the Clure Public Marine Terminal and its recent 26-acre expansion, Erie Pier, and an industrial park near the Duluth International Airport (Airpark). DSPA operates a designated Foreign Trade Zone #51 at the Clure Terminal.

Operating revenue for the Port Authority is generated through land leases, storage and dockage fees, economic development investments and related financing activities. Additional funding is provided by grants from the state's Port Development Assistance Program, the City of Duluth tax levy, and project specific federal grants. The Duluth Seaway Port Authority operates under Minnesota Statutes 469.048 to 469.068 and Minn. Stat. 469.074.


The Seaway Port Authority of Duluth consists of seven commissioners: three appointed by the Duluth city council; two by the St. Louis County board; and two by the governor.

A member of the St. Louis County delegation of the state house of representatives appointed by that delegation, and a member of the St. Louis County delegation of the state senate appointed by that delegation are advisory members of the authority.

Entries for this agency in the Annual Compilation and Statistical Report of Multi-Member Agencies Report: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978.

Note: This report provides membership details as well as meeting information and a summary of the group's activities.

Internet resource:
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 1955-2019.
Record last updated: 06/02/2021

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

Agencies image