Alaska Marine Highway

The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) is a vital transportation system for Coastal Alaska, including connections to Bellingham, Washington and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. For the Kodiak region, the AMHS connects the Port of Kodiak, Old Harbor, Port Lions, and Ouzinkie with the mainland, providing residents and visitors with safe, reliable, and efficient transportation of people, goods, and vehicles. Of particular concern for the Kodiak region is the aging MV Tustumena, which started service in 1964. The MV Kennicott is the only additional vessel with capabilities to serve the Kodiak region. The State of Alaska continues efforts to replace the MV Tustumena, which has been challenging given the precarious condition of the State budget; however, Federal and State funding options are in process for an eventual replacement targeted for 2027. The State budget has also had dampening effects on the frequency and seasonal service of the AMHS to the Kodiak region, including challenges staffing the vessels at required levels and reduced vessel schedules, these can cause a lack of ferry service to even the hub of Kodiak for 4-6 months at a time. This inability to utilize the ferries as a reliable transportation option can further increase the costs of both construction of new housing and investment in economic development.