KETCHIKAN (AP) -- An Alaska Cruises floating dock in Misty Fiords National Monument has received the initial go-ahead.
The state Division of Governmental Coordination has determined that the floating dock is consistent with the Alaska Coast Management Plan. Now the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Natural Resources will have to determine whether to approve permits for the float.
The float's proposed location is the south arm of Rudyerd Bay within the monument. Alaska Cruises uses the float as part of a tour operation to transfer passengers between floatplanes and a catamaran.
The company received permission to continue using the float during the application process, which began before the 1999 summer tourist season. The float originally was located at the head of Rudyerd Bay and was moved it to its present location this summer.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service have raised concerns about the effect of the dock on wildlife.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has said that floatplanes landing at the dock will be traveling over nesting pigeon guillemots, which might disturb the birds. Alaska Cruises said that the planes won't fly at low altitudes in that area.
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