Botelho: Coastal zone fundraising slow so far

JUNEAU — A leader of the coastal management initiative said fundraising so far has been slow.

The initiative on the August ballot would re-establish a coastal management program in Alaska. The program lets states put conditions on certain activities on federal lands and waters. Alaska’s program lapsed last year after several failed attempts by lawmakers to revamp and save it.

Bruce Botelho, a leader of the Alaska Sea Party, the ballot group behind the initiative, said it has been difficult to get people to begin thinking about the election, which is three months away. He said the group is starting to hold fundraisers and is looking for corporate support.

On Wednesday, the group announced a new co-chairman and campaign staff.

Botelho, who also is Juneau’s mayor, said he expects organized opposition to emerge in the lead-up to the Aug. 28 primary.

Botelho said he has concerns about historically low turnout for primaries. He expects his group will rely heavily on social media and canvassing to try to spread its message and get out the vote.

This week, Gov. Sean Parnell vetoed $2.9 million for implementation of the program, an appropriation contingent upon voters approving the initiative. His spokeswoman said Wednesday that the administration would request money for the program if the initiative passes.

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