The Anacortes City Council and Port of Anacortes Commission have both approved the Anacortes Maritime Strategic Plan, a road map for the city’s maritime economy over the next decade.
The joint plan is a culmination of three years of work by the city, port and Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County that included interviews with 50 maritime business leaders.
The plan identifies strengths, needs and challenges of the maritime sector, and sets short- and long-term goals.
Strengths include strong maritime history, diversity of industry, access to a deep water port and natural environment and recreation opportunities, according to the plan. Limited industrial land, shortage of affordable workforce housing and lack of emphasis on marine trades in K-12 schools are weaknesses.
Opportunities include boat shows and a new events center drawing in new visitors, increasing public access to waterfront, increased trade/exports, and becoming a center for rebuilding the next generation of ships and green marine, such as electric vessels, according to the plan.
A new electric marine company named Lavle recently puts its headquarter in Anacortes, and Norwegian business leaders toured Anacortes in January to explore potential opportunities.
“We are very much on the edge of maritime industry,” Mayor Laurie Gere said Feb. 19.
The plan aligns with Washington Maritime Blue, a state initiative aiming to create the nation’s most sustainable maritime industry by 2050, Gere said Monday night.
City, port and EDASC officials signed the plan Monday.
The maritime sector employed more than 1,100 in the areas of ship and boat building, repair and maintenance, recreational boating, commercial fishing and seafood products, maritime logistics and shipping, and passenger water transportation, according to 2016 data from the state Employment Security Department.