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Against Auke Bay plans

Posted: February 21, 2011 - 8:03am

The “plan” for Auke Bay harbor improvements sadly takes care of seasonal tourist businesses at the expense of local boaters.

It won’t be too long before DeHarts Marina will be removed and in its place a $5 million tourist boarding float will be built.

The plan is great for tourism, but terrible for the residents who have boats moored in Auke Bay. There is little public support for this plan, but the Docks and Harbors Board (D&H) continues to go down this path.

The Assembly is well aware of this, but so far has chosen to do nothing to stop it from happening. This action or “inaction” by the Assembly is contrary to some people’s belief that D&H operates on their own and suggests the D&H is more likely doing what they’re told.

The majority of Juneau’s moorage is located in town, where most of the population was centered many years ago, but the Mendenhall Valley is now the most populated area, and growing.

Unfortunately, nothing has been done to accommodate this population increase in regard to increasing the amount of moorage available in the Auke Bay area.

Just the opposite, the Auke Bay plan removes Deharts Marina, thus eliminating moorage for about 100 boats, with no money to relocate the marina or to add floats to Statter Harbor as some have suggested.

And, to compound the problem, Fishermen’s Bend Marina and upland property is for sale. There is a real potential in the not too distant future for losing about 300 boat stalls in Auke Bay. Rest assured the seasonal whale watching businesses will be taken care of.

A new four acre parking lot, the size of the parking lot at Walmart, is planned in the center of Auke Bay to service the tourist boarding float and to accommodate whale watching tour vehicles.

Either call or e-mail the assembly and D&H board members and let them know if you don’t think this is in the best interest of Juneau, or if you think that Auke Bay should be developed for something other than a seasonal tourist marine transportation center.

Bruce White

Mendenhall Valley

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