According to Ketchikan's SitNews, The Alaska Sea Party, sponsors of a ballot initiative that would reinstate the state's expired Coastal Zone Management program, have set an ambitious goal to collect 26,000 signatures statewide by the time the Legislature convenes in January.
“We have more coastline than any other state, yet now Alaska is the only state whose citizens don’t have a say in how their coastal resources are managed,” said Mako Haggerty, a Kenai Peninsula Borough Assemblyman and sponsor of the initiative. “That has to change. We’re making every effort to restore Alaskans' voice as soon as possible.”
Collecting that many signatures in such a short amount of time has no precedent in Alaska, but sponsors of the effort say that because so many residents depend on coastal areas, it's both possible and necessary. They hope collecting the signatures will convince legislators to reinstate the program on their own during the upcoming session and render a ballot initiative moot.
“Anyone who lives or works along the coast, or enjoys our incredible coastal resources, should care about bringing back this program,” said Beth Kerttula. “It’s the only program that gives Alaskans and coastal communities a seat at the table."
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