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Alaska Delegation Working to Clear Hurdles to Coastal Projects

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senators Lisa Murkowski, Mark Begich and Congressman Don Young today introduced the Federal Submerged Lands Transportation Development Act, which would allow the United States Coast Guard to sign leases for development on unused submerged lands for longer than a five year period of time -- allowing for greater investment and development opportunities along the nation's coastlines. Introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives, the bill is aimed to increase interest and possibility of investment by allowing for longer lease periods on submerged lands currently not in use.

The legislation would assist coastal economic development in Alaska and nationwide, and would invite more private companies to engage in projects where they have a better chance to see a return on their investment.

"The United States Coast Guard holds the rights to so much of our coastal lands in Alaska -- which serve as a gateway to opportunities and private investment," said Murkowski. "Unfortunately, the current legal limit of a five-year lease discourages a lot of projects from ever being proposed, let alone constructed. This bill would get rid of that arbitrary limit and create a clearer path to possible investment along our coasts."

"As it stands, the current limit on Coast Guard tideland leases often discourages long term investments for companies seeking to develop our waterfronts," said Senator Begich. "This common sense bill will help promote economic development and jobs by doing away with the five-year limit so that companies can make long-term investments. I am pleased to join Sen. Murkowski and Congressman Young in sponsoring this legislation."

"This bill will provide a new tool in the arsenal of the Coast Guard for managing its tidal properties, and help communities, such as Kodiak, develop projects for the betterment of their livelihoods," said Congressman Don Young. "The ability to negotiate for longer lease terms should give the added certainty needed for development."

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