I have been reading articles written about the Point Lena fisheries facility. With each article I keep waiting for the rest of the story to appear. Reasons why it should be built are in print nearly every night, but what about the reasons why it should not be built?
How much do the people of Juneau really know about the needs of the Auke Bay Laboratory employees and how many of those needs will not be met if the planned facility gets built? How many people are aware of the fact that the existing Auke Bay Laboratory will still need to be kept and maintained? Elevation of the Point Lena site makes it extremely expensive to pump seawater necessary for research. There will not be a pier or vessel-berthing facility.
The new project will have office space for 100 people, which the news articles claim will be enough for new employees. We now have more employees than that at the existing lab. The new facility will not have a lot more space. I would like to invite anyone interested in the working conditions that ABL employees endure to please come take a tour and see for yourself why an improved facility is needed.
The solution that makes complete sense is to rebuild on the existing site. The pier and seawater needed are already here, and the property belongs to NOAA. In case you haven't already guessed it, I am an Auke Bay Laboratory employee and have been watching all the challenges of people making the choices and decisions of what ABL needs, and those people do not even work at the ABL and furthermore the majority of them do not even live in Juneau.
I am also a longtime resident and taxpayer of Juneau and am angry at how our tax dollars are being spent. The same job opportunities exist if the construction is at Point Lena or here at the existing ABL site. In summary, the improved facility is needed.
NOAA owns the Auke Bay property, which is more than adequate. The pier and access to seawater needed already exists. The Auke Bay Laboratory can be renovated within the budget, and the work will offer job opportunities to the Juneau job market, and we won't have to maintain two sites to do the fishery research needed.