Alaska lawmakers are joining in a new caucus of coastal state legislators, formed during a recent meeting of the Conference of State Legislatures in San Diego.
Among legislative leaders involved in the caucus are Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, and House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau.
The group will deal with economic, resource and environmental issues facing coastal states, including those related to global climate change and economic recovery, according to the caucus' first chair, Washington Sen. Kevin Ranker of the state's San Juan Islands.
"With more coastline than the rest of the country combined, and critical world-class fisheries, Alaskans are always concerned about coastal and marine issues," Kerttula said.
Other Southeast members of the caucus are Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, and Rep. Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell.
The Caucus of Coastal State Legislators is a bipartisan group representing legislators in 29 coastal and Great Lakes states. Among its goals will be to share ideas across regions and engage with President Obama's Ocean Policy Task Force.