Alaska’s Congressional delegation is pushing an effort to allow the Coast Guard to lease its underwater and tidelands property for more than the five years allowed under existing law.

If passed by Congress, the Federal Submerged Lands Transportation Development Act would have significant implications for the development of a barge dock at Shannon Point in Womens Bay.

In March, Seattle-based Northland Services floated the idea of constructing a new dock at the site of the log scales on Womens Bay. The site had been intended for condominiums, but that development never occurred.

The Coast Guard owns most of the submerged land beneath the surface of Women’s Bay, and developing a new dock would require Coast Guard approval, as well as the approval of the US Army Corps of Engineers, which regulates tidewater development.

The Commandant of the Coast Guard approves leases involving Coast Guard land, but federal law restricts those leases to five years or less. The bill, which has been referred to the Senate’s commerce committee for consideration, would remove that restriction.

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