kodiak

Courtesy of Davin Holen.

Last week the Trump administration proposed to drastically increase the amount of Alaska waters open for oil and gas leasing. Along with keeping Cook Inlet open, it would also make areas near Kodiak and the Gulf of Alaska available for drilling, both of which are currently closed. Yet, it’s unclear if companies will be interested in drilling there even if the plan is approved. Still, the move worries local environmentalists and fishermen.

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The Alaska Department of Natural Resources is beginning to work through tideland lease applications for the mariculture industry.  Current and potentially new farmers are applying to use state tidelands to grow Pacific oysters and geoducks. Those are all typical requests, but what’s different this year is the acreage farmers are requesting and the increasing interest in kelp farming.

The number of applications for mariculture tideland leases this year are the highest DNR Leasing Unit Manager Christy Colles can remember.