Community Planning Assistance Teams
Meet the Team
Located just 50 miles from the Great Circle shipping route, Unalaska, the 12th largest incorporated city in Alaska, is 800 miles southwest of Anchorage in the heart of the North Pacific/Bering Sea fisheries. The city itself contains approximately 115 square miles of land and 98 square miles of water. Unalaska is a community of 4,400 permanent residents and 5,000 to 10,000 seasonal workers. For the last 30 years, Unalaska's economy has been based primarily on commercial fishing, seafood processing, fleet services, and marine transportation. The Port of Dutch Harbor is the only deep draft, ice-free port in the area, which is also designated a "Port of Refuge" providing year-round protection for disabled or distressed vessels. Ground/warehouse storage and transshipment opportunities for the thousands of vessels that fish or transit the waters of the Bering Sea are also available in Unalaska.
Focus is now shifting to additional economic opportunities, namely staging and support industries related to oil exploration and production. With the need for a protected deep water port with accessible uplands for industries related to oil and gas industry, several oil companies have plans to set up staging areas in Unalaska in the near future. Many support industries related to oil exploration are expected to follow.
While there is a vast amount of undeveloped land on the island, there is a limited amount of flat ground readily accessible for development. A CPAT will assist the City of Unalaska with the community engagement component of creating a land use plan, which will help identify areas with cultural, historic and environmental significance. The team will provide a knowledge base and facilitate information exchange regarding port planning, housing, and the unique needs of the oil industry as they work with community members including the native village corporation, the Ounalashka Corporation.