Chapter 15 SLA 09 allocates a portion of the State of Alaska's CIAP funds to the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development for legislatively-named recipients. The Aleutians West Coastal Resource Service Area (CRSA), one of four CRSAs established under the Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP) was allocated $1,033,317 through this legislation.
With the sunset of the ACMP on July 1, 2011, the Aleutians West CRSA ceased to exist. Prior to the ACMP sunset, the Aleutians West CRSA Board of Directors made the decision that the City of Unalaska should receive the CRSA’s CIAP funds and administer the projects supported by those funds. Chapter 5 SLA 12, effective April 15, 2012, re-appropriated the CIAP funds of the Aleutians West CRSA to the City of Unalaska.
The Western Aleutian area encompasses all the islands of the Aleutian Chain from Unalaska Island west to Attu Island, a distance of approximately 1,000 miles. The chain of islands comprising the Aleutians is 20-60 miles in width. Bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the south and the Bering Sea on the north, the Aleutians West Region includes nearly 200 named islands. The Western Aleutian area has a population of 4,406 (2008), a coastal area of 15,927 square miles, and 3,700 miles of shoreline. This vast region is rich in resources and history. The largest city is Unalaska, with a population of 3,551 people. It is an international hub for the multi-million dollar fishing industry in the Bering Sea and a transportation and economic center for the Aleutians.
The entire Western Aleutian area is unincorporated, with no regional seat of government.
Important regional organizations include the Aleut Corporation, the Aleutian Pribilof Island Association (APIA), the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC), and the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association (APICDA). Each organization plays a different role in the region and contributes to the Western Aleutian economy, social fabric, and political strength.
The communities and Census Designated Places (CDP) within the Western Aleutian area including Adak City, Amchitka CDP, Atka City*, Eareckson Air Force Station, Nikolski CDP, St. George City*, St. Paul City*, Unalaska City*, and Attu Coast Guard Station. Atka and Nikolski are small communities with populations of about 73 and 27, respectively. Adak, a former military facility, has a population of 178 and recently became a second-class city. There are also a number of military sites in the Western Aleutians. Some are active or now under civilian management; others are abandoned.
As a recipient of CCIAP funds, the City of Unlaska has developed projects to be funded through the former Aleutians West CRSA's CCIAP allocation. These projects were ranked in Tier 1 and Tier 2 project lists to address regional priorities. The Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Division of Community and Regional Affairs then sent the proposed project lists to the Department of Natural Resources for inclusion in the state's CIAP plan.
Houses on Unalaska Island (Dutch Harbor), one of Aleutian islands. Photo: Brendan Minish
City Manager, City of Unaska
Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development