WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama signed the 2015 Coast Guard reauthorization bill Monday night, a law that will transfer two tracts of land in Alaska out of the hands of the federal government.
The bill authorizes future spending for the Coast Guard and Federal Maritime Commission in addition to numerous policy provisions. Among those are a provision transferring 2,500 acres of federal land in Point Spencer to the Bering Straits Native Corp. and the state, with a remaining Coast Guard foothold, and transfer of former Coast Guard facilities to the Tanana Chiefs Conference.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who pushed the provision forward along with Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young, said Tuesday that the Point Spencer provision "is a great step towards future investment in Alaska's Arctic, giving Alaskans the ability to speed up the timetable for economic investment in the Arctic region."
Murkowski and others hope the transfer will enable future port infrastructure projects.