KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) – Members of a new group focused on the future of southeast Alaska’s ferry service will focus on ways to sustain the system.

The Ketchikan Daily News reported Wednesday that members of the group based in Ketchikan attended a Rotary 2000 meeting where former Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski spoke Tuesday.

Retired Ketchikan shipyard director Doug Ward says the group intends to focus on maintaining and improving the ferry service.

Murkowski says Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy did not provide funding for the Alaska Marine Highway System beyond Oct. 1 in his budget and that the worst case scenario is a system shutdown.

Murkowski says ferries are both a state and regional issue and southeast Alaska needs to be unified in telling the current administration exactly what it wants in terms of service.

Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News,