Alaska Positioned to Be Leader in Blue Economy

Alaska Positioned to Be Leader in Blue Economy

The UAF Alaska Blue Economy Center (ABEC) was recently established to help advance new research, education and economic opportunities for Alaska. An Alaska Journal of Commerce article celebrated the new center’s launch.

The “blue economy” is the sector of the economy centered on marine environments (oceans, rivers and lakes) that represent the potential for substantial economic growth and opportunity for diversifying Alaska’s economy and workforce. Alaska’s oceans already provide immense value through fisheries, tourism, and oil and gas exploration. In addition to the traditional sectors, ocean technology, renewable energy and marine biotechnology are rapidly expanding, and ABEC is working to catalyze growth in these areas.

Alaska, surrounded by oceans, has 46,600 miles of shoreline, more than the Lower 48 states combined. This positions Alaska as a natural leader in the blue economy.

ACEP's Pacific Marine Energy Center has been leading "blue" research on renewable energy from river and ocean resources for a number of years and is excited to see how the ABEC evolves.

ACEP director Gwen Holdmann was quoted in Alaska Journal of Commerce article: “Access to affordable and reliable energy sources to support the blue economy, and tapping into the vast potential Alaska has in tidal and current energy as one possible growth area, is something the Alaska Center for Energy and Power is very interested in supporting.”


Jeremy Kasper collects data for a wave energy project in Yakutat. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Kasper.