JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Officials are set to meet to help shape the future of marine navigation in the Arctic and around Alaska.

The Juneau Empire reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hydrographic Services Review Panel convenes Tuesday in Juneau for three days.

The group of experts on navigation and marine transportation meet twice annually with the goal is to develop priorities for NOAA’s navigation services – the charts, tide tables, and coast surveys – on which mariners depend.

Leaders are scrambling to capitalize on Arctic sea routes that are staying open longer as sea ice continues to melt in the Arctic.

But the United States lacks maritime infrastructure in the region and is building fewer ice breaking ships capable of traveling through ice free zones.

Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com

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