Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski publicized a legislative framework Monday seeking to address working waterfront project needs in the state.
According to the NOAA Office of Coastal Management, 83 percent of Alaskans live in coastal areas.
The Working Waterfronts framework seeks to support coastal and river communities by including provisions to help boost industries such as tourism, fisheries, and mariculture.
It addresses the needs of smaller port and harbor communities through support for boat ramps, harbor floats, and bathhouses. Provisions also address food security by providing fisheries disaster assistance to subsistence users. The framework includes measures to help coastal communities upgrade their shoreside infrastructure, as well as places a focus on workforce development, supporting educational and vocational training for maritime trades.
To combat the physical impacts of climate change and mitigate the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, the framework promotes coastal renewable energy projects and strengthens federal research on the conservation and utility of coastal vegetation and ecosystems.
“I’m announcing this framework to continue my conversations with Alaskans about the needs and great potential of our working waterfronts,” said Senator Murkowski. “The blue economy is set to be a $3 trillion industry by 2030. We have the biggest pieces of the puzzle already. Alaska’s 66,000 miles of coastline and strong ties to our oceans and rivers prime us for growth in sustainable industries like fisheries and mariculture. I don’t want to see us held back by a lack of infrastructure and support for our marine-based livelihoods. In many cases, tweaks to eligibility for existing programs would open up a world of possibility for communities who depend on our rivers and oceans. Alaskans brought these ideas to me and my team and I look forward to the work and collaboration that will make them a reality.”
Alaskans can provide feedback to the Working Waterfronts legislative framework by emailing Working_Waterfronts@Murkowski.Senate.Gov, until December 2.