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Greenpeace Vessel Will Not Moor at the Port of Ketchikan
City has provided Greenpeace with possible alternative moorage options


August 02, 2003
Saturday - 1:15 am

Ketchikan, AK - The MV Esperanza which is the latest and largest vessel in Greenpeace's fleet is on its way to Ketchikan and Greenpeace is saying, "Originally we were all set to dock, but
View a photo of the MV Esperanza...
the agreement has been revoked by the agency for fear that we are a security risk." However, the question as to where the Esperanza will or won't dock when it arrives in Ketchikan has been answered by Ketchikan City Manager Karl R. Amylon.

Amylon announced Friday morning that he was affirming the decision of the Port and Harbors Director, Lori Kolanko, not to permit the Greenpeace vessel, Esperanza, to moor at the Port of Ketchikan. In clarifying the decision, Amylon stated that after meeting with the Port & Harbors Director on Thursday afternoon, he concluded that Kolanko was correct in her assessment that the Port does not have sufficient capacity to accommodate the Esperanza while at the same time meeting its prior obligations to provide for cruise ship moorage and other related activities.

The City Manager's decision was announced Friday morning after he reviewed the existing cruise ship moor schedule and anticipated daily tour operations with the Ports & Harbors Director Kolanko. The cruise ship schedule released by the City Manager's Office reported prior obligations to 39 cruise ships between August 4th and August 12th.

According to Amylon, the operation of the tour vessels at Daly Float was also considered in the decision not to have the Esperanza at Berth 1D. "It's simply a case of not having sufficient space," Amylon said. The beam of the Esperanza is 47 feet wide, which is too broad for the backside of Berth 1, the intended mooring location for the Esperanza. "Vessels that operate tours off of Daly Float would be adversely affected if the Esperanza were docked on 1D as originally envisioned," Amylon said. Tour vessels that utilize Daly Float require room to maneuver safely. "They have to contend with currents, the creek, weather, and the volume of traffic when accessing the float," Amylon stated. "Allowing a large vessel to berth at 1D would hamper their operations and cause significant safety concerns," the City Manager said.

While acknowledging that it was unfortunate that a Harbor Department employee may have mistakenly advised Greenpeace that moorage space could be made available, Amylon stated that political considerations played no part in reaching his decision. "The overcrowding of Ketchikan's Port facilities is well documented," Amylon stated. "The Esperanza is not the only vessel the City has been unable to accommodate due to a lack of available space," Amylon said. "If nothing else, this incident reinforces the need for the City to move forward with increasing the number of berths at the Port," he said.

According to Amylon, the City of Ketchikan provided Greenpeace with possible alternative moorage options. As of Friday morning, the City had not been informed by the Esperanza of its plans for Ketchikan or a confirmed schedule. "If the Esperanza decides to anchor in the Tongass Narrows, the City will offer assistance both in identifying appropriate locations and direction to those passengers and crew that choose to lighter," Amylon said.

Information provided by Amylon reported the unconfirmed arrival date of the Esperanza to be Monday afternoon, August 4th, with the Esperanza's departure scheduled for August 11th. However, according to information provided on the Greenpeace website, the Esperanza's arrival date will be August 6th.

According to the Greenpeace web site, the purpose of The Tongass Tour 2003 is "to explore, investigate and expose the impacts of large-scale industrial logging on our largest national forest, the Tongass, as well as on various wildlife including eagles, grizzly bears, salmon and wolves. The ship will arrive in Ketchikan, Alaska on August 6th, as the battle between environmentalists and the U.S. government heats up over the controversial issue of logging in the nation's forests."

According to the web site, during the "Endangered Forests, Endangered Freedoms" tour, Greenpeace will:

  • Investigate forest destruction that has recently taken place in the Tongass, including documenting areas that have already been clearcut as well as pending logging sites.
  • Identify, document and highlight the largest of the last remaining ancient trees in the Tongass.
  • Collaborate with local experts to identify and document Karst cave formations which are unique, highly fertile, limestone formations which Greenpeace states face destruction from industrial logging.
  • Hold tours for the public to tour the M.V. Esperanza and to learn more about forest issues in Southeast Alaska.

Ketchikan events announced by Greenpeace:

Open Boat:

Saturday, August 9, 2003 - 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm &
Sunday, August 10, 2003 -8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
About Open Boat

Slide Show:

Sunday, August 10, 2003 - the "Unseen Tongass" slide show by Marcel LaPerriere will be showing at the U.S. Forest Service Discovery Center in Ketchikan - 6:00 pm


About the MV Esperanza




City of Ketchikan
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