A Few Harbor Notes

ANB Harbor, first built in 1956 and last renovated in the 1980’s, is the oldest of the city’s five harbors. By 2014, it’s going to be the newest.

A complete replacement of the entire float system and pilings at ANB Harbor is scheduled for this year.

“The problem is flotation,” Eliason said. “We had a meeting down there (at ANB Harbor). There were four of us on the float and we had to disperse our weight to keep from sinking.” He said ANB Harbor has been costing a lot of money and staff time to stay ahead of the spreading deterioration.

After ANB’s refurbishing the stall configuration is to be mostly the same, except that there will be one fewer 50-foot stall and some of the skiff stalls will be eliminated. This will allow the other stalls to be widened, as well as lengthened, because boats are getting wider, Eliason said.

Another site ripe for replacement is the Transient Dock, which can be seen from the Harbor Department building at Thomsen Harbor. Eliason said the city is pursuing help from the state to replace the 40-year-old dock. “The structure is failing,” Eliason said. “We had to throw in $60,000 last year in emergency repairs.”

More about both of these projects can be found at the Harbor Department’s page on the website cityofsitka.com. Last year, the city completed its Sitka Harbor System Master Plan and a pdf of the entire plan is available online. A hard copy is available at Kettleson library. Also of interest is a link to Frequently Asked Questions about the master plan. The link for FAQs is located below the link for the entire document.

Finally, it seems the Sea Squirt Invasion of Whiting Harbor continues. Boaters are being asked to stay out of Whiting Harbor, so as not to give a ride to these hitchhiking invertebrates, also called colonial tunicates.

From a pamphlet put out by a raft of federal and state agencies: “The colonial sea squirt, Didemnum vexillum, also called marine vomit, was found in Sitka waters… The aggressive growth of this invasive tunicate may alter fisheries resources and the habitats that sustain them.”

Boaters that see any animal or plant that they think may be a pest are asked to note the position (GPS, if possible) and call the ADF&G Invasive Species hotline at 1-877-INVASIV. Or email: tammy.davis@alaska.gov.