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Murkowski touts US's Arctic needs in Kodiak hearing

Alaska Dispatch

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is touting a Monday hearing in Kodiak to "showcase (the) Arctic nation needs" of the U.S.

Kodiak is a community of about 6,500 people on a 3,588-square-mile island in the Gulf of Alaska about 250 miles southwest of Anchorage, the state's largest city. Though home to the largest U.S. Coast Guard base in Alaska, Kodiak is more than 600 air miles south of the Arctic Circle, a distance nearly twice as far as from New York City to Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Alaska is home to seven Coast Guard stations other than the one in Kodiak. They are located in Anchorage, Dutch Harbor, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, St. Paul and Valdez. Three are closer to the Arctic than Kodiak.

According to Murkowski's office, the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee is holding the hearing in the isolated community of Kodiak at Murkowski’s request to focus "on the nation’s need for a robust United States Coast Guard presence in Alaska, particularly as the nation begins to pursue expanding opportunities in northern waters. Sen. Murkowski and chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana will receive testimony from United States Coast Guard Admiral Papp and several Alaskan experts from academia and industry."

Most Alaskans will be unable to attend. Kodiak is not connected by road to the population centers of Anchorage, the Matansuka-Susitna Borough and Fairbanks, and airplane flights to the community are limited. But the fishing in Kodiak is better than in Anchorage, which is home to one of the three Coast Guard stations closer to the Arctic than Kodiak. Can you name the other two?