Waterfront Master Plan

The importance of the waterfront to Kodiak’s economy cannot be understated. From the seafood industry, the U.S. Coast Guard, the transportation sector, visitor/tourism industry, subsistence participation, and the emerging mariculture industry, nearly every facet of industry, occupation, and activity rely on a functional waterfront. CEDS stakeholder engagement highlighted that Kodiak is located in a strategic location and could be considered the Gateway to the Arctic. Improvements to the waterfront would prepare Kodiak to increase shoreside services (eg. maintenance, construction) to accommodate Ice Breakers, increased Coast Guard vessels, research vessels, and maritime transportation.

To update the City of Kodiak’s 2010 Waterfront Master Plan, the City of Kodiak contracted with RESPEC. The purpose of the Kodiak Waterfront Master Plan Update, dated February 2023, is stated in the document: “The development of the Kodiak Waterfront Master Plan involved reviewing the needs and current and future uses of Kodiak’s downtown waterfront space. The plan incorporates an inventory of existing facilities, amenities, and recommendations for upgrades and enhancements for all city-owned waterfront properties based on need and use priority. Additionally, the plan identifies potential funding sources to fulfill the recommendations.” (Kodiak Waterfront Master Plan Update)

RESPEC states on the project website that: “A successful approach to waterfront planning aims to strike a balance between providing public access to the waterfront for both residents and visitors and supporting long-time industries that depend on the waterfront.”

The City of Kodiak owns approximately nine miles of the 12 miles of waterfront within city limits, so undoubtedly, will have a significant role in planning and financing improvements. According to the updated plan, “the waterfront faces numerous challenges, including facilities in need of electrical and structural upgrades, docks lacking space for the ever-growing number of large fishing and cargo vessels, and the need for new and improved facilities to accommodate the many people who visit the waterfront. Despite these challenges, there are many opportunities for the Kodiak Waterfront, including creating space to support the growing mariculture industry, providing drydock and haul-out locations, and development facilities for marine debris recycling.”