Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Meilani Schijvens spoke about the 2025 Southeast Alaska Economic Plan before the Mid-Year Summit of the Southeast Conference.
Rain Coast Data is leading the way in putting together the new plan.
More seafood processing, protection of the Alaska Marine Highway, mariculture development, and growing the visitor opportunities remain priorities in the plan.
Another priority was an adequate economic timber supply.
A number of committees are working on the new plan, they will look at transportation, health care, maritime, energy, mining, tourism, economic development, and timber.
The plan included a look at the region's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The greatest strength was the people and the Alaskan spirit, the greatest opportunity was seafood and ocean product development, the greatest weakness was transportation and the greatest threat was federal regulations.
The economic plan is a blueprint of how the region is going to grow and sustain its economy going forward.
Natural beauty and access to recreation was voted as the top asset in a survey of 100 people at the conference.
The top weaknesses were the decline of ferry transportation.
The number one opportunity in the economy is mariculture.
The top threat in the survey was the continued loss of the ferry system.
Schijvens told the group that tourism numbers are expected to increase in 2020. She said the number of tourists could exceed 1.5 million in southeast Alaska.