Southeast Conference formed in 1958 with the goal of establishing the Alaska Marine Highway System. This transportation system has become the backbone for commerce and economic vitality throughout the state - and is critical for the coastal communities served by AMHS.
Today, the marine highway system extends across 3,500 miles of scenic coastline and provides service to over 30 communities. But due to many factors, and exacerbated by the state's fiscal crisis, the Alaska Marine Highway System is at a critical juncture and at risk of failure. Once again, Southeast Conference is leading the effort to "re-create" the ferry system into an organization that can continue to provide vital transportation services to the many user groups and industry that rely on it daily.
Phase one of this project is to identify alternative governance structures for the Alaska Marine Highway. Through expert analysis and a thorough public process, SE Conference will develop a formal recommendation for an effective and responsive management model.
This project, which will be managed by Southeast Conference, will be overseen by a steering committee of marine transportation professionals, public officials and governance experts. Southeast Conference will also hire a consultant to evaluate existing governance structures, review prior studies of the AMHS and collaboratively create a proposal recommending governance models for review by the public and State of Alaska.
The findings and recommendations of this project will lead into Phase Two when a "comprehensive operational and business plan" is developed.
Southeast Conference is accepting contributions to this project. To be a contributor please contact our office in Juneau or one of your local board members.