Alaska Port Facility Renovated

A line of special guests, including NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad (fifth from left), participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the NOAA-renovated port facility in Ketchikan, Alaska, on Aug. 21, 2023. Photo: NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Aug. 21 celebrated the renovation of a port facility in Ketchikan, Alaska, which is expected to support NOAA research vessels and the Ketchikan-homeported NOAA ship Fairweather.

“Having a home base for NOAA to operate from in Alaska is integral to our science, and mission to ensure safe navigation and the growth of our blue economy,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said. “This facility incorporates the latest green technology and is climate-ready with a state-of-the art floating pier to accommodate not only Ketchikan’s tidal flux, but future sea level changes.”

In April 2021, Alaska-based Ahtna Infrastructure & Technologies, LLC won the $18.7 million contract to update the facility, which includes a new office building, floating pier and boat ramp, as well as power, sewer, communications and water utility system upgrades to support visiting vessels, according to NOAA.

NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations oversees a fleet of 15 research and survey vessels that support surveys on fisheries, nautical charting, ocean and climate studies and other marine activities.

By Karen Robes Meeks