Readers of this letter to the editor may or may not have signed any of the cruise ship initiatives, may be pleased or saddened by not having a vote on the measures. Either way, I feel it is good that a conversation about tourism and its impacts has rolled around once again. There is one aspect of the cruise ship visits to Juneau that most people agree on — dock electrification. Consistently Juneau residents have turned out, written about and signed petitions in support of ending smelly smoke from ship funnels, and replacing it with clean renewable powered electricity, giving us cleaner skies and healthier air. The Princess dock was the first in the dock to be electrified. Now Norwegian Cruise Line has pledged to electrify its new dock. As ports around the world are embracing dock electrification, it is time for us to complete the job and electrify the city docks. Fortunately, it looks like federal funds may help us complete the task. In addition to switching out pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, the battery arrays for dock electrification can be a source of community back up power during winter outages.
Other towns from Seattle north are already considering dock electrification. Together we can have a cleaner cruise industry in our Southeast ports. Let’ s remind our Assembly members and mayor to electrify our docks.