Glacier Bay National Park Sets 2011 Cruise Ship Quota
Contact: Allison Banks, Public Information Officer, 907-697-2230
Superintendent Cherry Payne has determined that the 2011 cruise ship quotas for Glacier Bay will remain unchanged from the 2010 level. The annual determination made in accordance with 36 CFR Section 13.1160(b) is as follows:
June, July, and August: 153 use days
May and September: 92 use days
The year-round daily quota for cruise ships remains at two per day in accordance with the 2003 Vessel Quota Operating Restrictions Environmental Impact Statement (VQOR EIS) Record of Decision (ROD) and existing regulations.
The ROD states that a determination to increase seasonal quotas for cruise ships will rely on criteria that define the environmental and social conditions to be met before any additional seasonal use days are approved.
In December 2009, the National Park Service brought together members of the independent Science Advisory Board appointed in 2005, principal investigators, National Park Service scientists and managers to review results from ongoing research assessing potential impacts from cruise ships. Based on presentations from the researchers, the Board determined that the impact analysis presented in the VQOR EIS remains accurate. However, the NPS will continue research and monitoring of vessel impacts on the environment as well as their effects on cultural relationships and visitor experience in Glacier Bay.
In May 2010, public comment was solicited on the proposed 2011 quotas. Three comments were received. One concessioner concurred with the park’s decision to maintain the current quotas and use of the adaptive management approach to cruise ship use. An individual commenter wished to see fewer cruise ships, leading ultimately to none, stating that their access “…is going to continue to negatively affect Glacier Bay.” A third comment, received from an organization that promotes diversified business opportunities in Alaska, feels the proposal is adequate, but would like to see an increase of ships so that opportunities for passenger numbers could grow and that it would not have an adverse impact on the environment.
Did You Know?
Dense schools of forage fish, like herring and sand lance, are an abundant food source for many creatures, from the massive Humpback Whale to the diminutive Marbled Murrelet. Schools of forage fish can be literally miles long and hundreds of feet thick.