In new publication, Alaskans share stories about AMHS

JUNEAU – From Akutan to Ketchikan, Alaskans are sharing their personal stories in a new publication about what the Alaska Marine Highway means to those who rely on it.

“The Value of Alaska’s Marine Highway in 25 Stories” was recently published by five of the state’s regional development organizations in order to show how AMHS impacts residents in communities big and small.

“It’s a compelling narrative,” said Shelly Wright, executive director of Southeast Conference. “There has been so much talk about the bottom line when it comes to marine highways. This publication speaks to the value of the ferry system in a personal way, community by community. To me, this publication lets people understand that the marine highway, whether they know it or not, touches every single person in Southeast Alaska. These Alaskans’ stories weave together to form a single tale: Transportation is the lifeblood of coastal communities, and a strong ferry system is essential to local economic development, quality of life, and community well-being.”

AMHS serves as an economic engine for the 35 coastal communities that it provides service to in Alaska. Each year, it ferries more than 300,000 people, generating thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in commerce across Alaska. Since the extent of these impacts has never been fully measured, Alaskans who benefit from the state’s ferry system were asked to describe its value. The stories shared came from mayors, tribal leaders, business owners, tourism directors, fishermen, economic development experts and other community leaders.

“Angoon has no road connection, no barge service and no runway,” says former Angoon Mayor Maxine Thompson in the publication. “… It is the lifeblood of the villages.”

This publication, developed by Juneau-based Rain Coast Data, was a collaborative effort by Southeast Conference, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference, the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District and the Prince William Sound Economic Development District.

The publication can be found on Southeast Conference’s home page at www.seconference.org/.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 15

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, June 13, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Bill Thomas, a former Republican state representative from Haines, announced Friday he is dropping out of the race for the District 3 House seat this fall. (U.S. Sustainability Alliance photo)
Bill Thomas drops out of District 3 House race, says there isn’t time for fishing and campaigning

Haines Republican cites rough start to commercial season; incumbent Andi Story now unopposed.

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, speaks at the Alaska Democratic Party’s state convention on May 18 at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Peltola among few Democrats to vote for annual defense bill loaded with GOP ‘culture war’ amendments

Alaska congresswoman expresses confidence “poison pills” will be removed from final legislation.

A celebratory sign stands outside Goldbelt Inc.’s new building during the Alaska Native Regional Corporation’s 50th-anniversary celebration on Jan. 4. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Medical company sues Goldbelt for at least $30M in contract dispute involving COVID-19 vaccine needles

Company says it was stuck with massive stock of useless needles due to improper specs from Goldbelt.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, June 12, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

A yearling black bear waits for its mother to return. Most likely she won’t. This time of year juvenile bears are separated, sometimes forcibly, by their mothers as families break up during mating season. (Photo courtesy K. McGuire)
Bearing witness: Young bears get the boot from mom

With mating season for adults underway, juveniles seek out easy food sources in neighborhoods.

A chart shows COVID-19 pathogen levels at the Mendenhall wastewater treatment plant during the past three months. (Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Wastewater Surveillance System)
Juneau seeing another increase in COVID-19 cases, but a scarcity of self-test kits

SEARHC, Juneau Drug have limited kits; other locations expect more by Saturday.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks to reporters during a news conference Feb. 7. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Gov. Dunleavy picks second ex-talk radio host for lucrative fish job after first rejected

Rick Green will serve at least through Legislature’s next confirmation votes in the spring of 2025.

Most Read