Treadwell announces study of Arctic marine shipping

NOAA Ship Fairweather in the Gulf of Alaska. The Fairweather surveyed Arctic waters in 2012 in preparation for future charting survey expeditions.

NOAA Ship Fairweather in the Gulf of Alaska. The Fairweather surveyed Arctic waters in 2012 in preparation for future charting survey expeditions. (Credit: NOAA)

Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell announced yesterday a $200,000 multi-year study of Arctic marine shipping.

He told a meeting a of the Arctic Parliamentarians in Washington, D.C. the project will be conducted by the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

The state Department of Commerce will pay for the research.

Treadwell says the state needs to understand safe, navigable routes to allow for increased economic activity in the region.

“We want to understand how can shipping with all these cargoes going past reduce the cost of power and the cost of energy for people who live in western Alaska. We want to understand how we can make our resources more competitive whether its Red Dog or other proposed projects in the North or West.”

The study will be lead by Lawson Brigham at UAF. Brigham previously wrote an Arctic marine shipping assessment for the Arctic Council.