An Alaska tourist spot will vote whether to ban cruise ships on Saturdays to give locals a break

by | Jul 7, 2024 | Science

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Each year, a crush of tourists arrives in Alaska’s capital city on cruise ships to see wonders like the fast-diminishing Mendenhall Glacier. Now, long-simmering tensions over Juneau’s tourism boom are coming to a head over a new voter initiative aimed at giving residents a respite from the influx.A measure that would ban cruise ships with 250 or more passengers from docking in Juneau on Saturdays qualified for the Oct. 1 municipal ballot, setting the stage for a debate about how much tourism is too much in a city that is experiencing first-hand the impacts of climate change. The measure would also ban ships on July 4, a day when locals flock to a downtown parade.The “ship-free Saturdays” initiative that qualified this week will go to voters unless the local Assembly enacts a similar measure by Aug. 15, which is seen as unlikely.Juneau, accessible only by water or air, is home to the Mendenhall Glacier, a major draw for the cruise passengers who arrive on multi-story ships towering over parts of the modest downtown skyline. Many residents of this city of about 32,000 have concerns about increased traffic, congested trails and the frequent buzz of sight-seeing helicopters transporting visitors to the Mendenhall and other glaciers.Deborah Craig, who has lived in Juneau for decades, supports ship-free Saturdays. Craig, who lives across the channel from where the ships dock, often hears their early-morning fog horns and broadcast announcements made to passengers that are audible across the water.The current “overwhelming” number of visitors diminishes what residents love so much about Juneau, she said.“It’s about preserving th …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnJUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Each year, a crush of tourists arrives in Alaska’s capital city on cruise ships to see wonders like the fast-diminishing Mendenhall Glacier. Now, long-simmering tensions over Juneau’s tourism boom are coming to a head over a new voter initiative aimed at giving residents a respite from the influx.A measure that would ban cruise ships with 250 or more passengers from docking in Juneau on Saturdays qualified for the Oct. 1 municipal ballot, setting the stage for a debate about how much tourism is too much in a city that is experiencing first-hand the impacts of climate change. The measure would also ban ships on July 4, a day when locals flock to a downtown parade.The “ship-free Saturdays” initiative that qualified this week will go to voters unless the local Assembly enacts a similar measure by Aug. 15, which is seen as unlikely.Juneau, accessible only by water or air, is home to the Mendenhall Glacier, a major draw for the cruise passengers who arrive on multi-story ships towering over parts of the modest downtown skyline. Many residents of this city of about 32,000 have concerns about increased traffic, congested trails and the frequent buzz of sight-seeing helicopters transporting visitors to the Mendenhall and other glaciers.Deborah Craig, who has lived in Juneau for decades, supports ship-free Saturdays. Craig, who lives across the channel from where the ships dock, often hears their early-morning fog horns and broadcast announcements made to passengers that are audible across the water.The current “overwhelming” number of visitors diminishes what residents love so much about Juneau, she said.“It’s about preserving th …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
Share This