Summer, 2023

Providing information, communications, and services to promote safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally responsible maritime operations.

MARAD and State support MXAK's Innovative Weather-to-AIS Project

In this snapshot, you can spot our existing Maritime Safety Sites (MSS) (represented by the yellow dots), and the WX2AIS data from R/V KESTREL marked with the pink dot. Take a look at the terrestrial MSS's around Sitka - there is significant wind disparity of at least 10 knots between the coastline and the Wx coming in from the fishing grounds. Our dynamic approach to collecting AIS/weather data bridges critical gaps, ensuring mariners receive the most accurate and up-to-date information for safe, efficient, and responsible maritime navigation.

As the age-old saying goes, "out there, weather is king," and at Marine Exchange of Alaska (MXAK), we hold this adage close to heart. Our journey into enhancing weather data accessibility has led us to an exciting project that has been steadily unfolding over the past few months. In the maritime realm, accurate and real-time weather information is not just a convenience – it's an absolute necessity. 

Our WX2AIS data feed is live on our website! You can access it by clicking the "Vessel Wx" tab you'll see the R/V's MEDEIA and KESTREL thanks to our partnership with Alaska Department of Fish & Game. More to come as more vessels are outfitted.

The genesis of this endeavor traces back to the visionary idea of our Founder, Ed Page. His initial concept revolved around building a hub that would be a central information repository for maritime stakeholders. This vessel weather project is one more piece of that vision. The burgeoning demand from our maritime community for up-to-the-minute weather data before getting underway was the catalyst for this effort. Driven by our commitment to serve the maritime community, we ventured into the realm of integrating weather sensors on vessels and our tech guru, Bryan Hinderberger, is spearheading the effort.

Navigating the waters of funding for weather services has been a unique challenge. While weather data is indispensable, the expectation for its accessibility often skews towards being free. As a result, we have relentlessly pursued avenues to meet these expectations through collaboration with the Alaska Ocean Observing System ( to ensure the highest quality of service. For this project, however, the State of Alaska as well as the Maritime Administration (MARAD) have come together to make it happen.

MXAK's weather data is integrated into prominent platforms with the National Ocean Atmospheric Administration and National Weather Service.

With the state's participation, and MARAD's funding, this technology has been successfully integrated and tested on the research vessels MEDEIA and KESTREL. This innovation providing real-time weather data in remote and offshore areas. The benefits of this project are already palpable (as seen above in Sitka). Just the dissemination of data streaming from these vessels marks a significant leap forward in maritime weather intelligence.

We acknowledge the collaborative spirit that propels us. Every stride we take is fueled by a dedication to enhancing safety and efficiency in the maritime domain. Our weather-to-AIS project exemplifies this commitment, not just as a technological feat but as a testament to the innovation and resilience that define MXAK.

This endeavor has been an in-house evolution, championed by our IT team, with invaluable collaborations with stakeholders. With every data point collected, and every vessel enhanced, we are inching closer to a maritime landscape where greater weather knowledge is both more accessible and powerful.

At MXAK, collaboration is at the heart of our mission. With this in mind, we've meticulously designed our footprint to minimize space usage and data frequency on partnering vessels. 

This approach is a testament to our commitment to leave a minimal ecological and operational impact. We're thrilled that this project is taking flight and eagerly anticipate expanding its reach to bridge gaps in maritime safety. Interested in learning more, or participating? Please contact us at

A Vision of Stewardship: Arctic Watch

In the vast expanse of the Arctic, where maritime traffic has surged twofold in the last decade and geopolitical interests intertwine, MXAK is setting its sights on a pioneering endeavor - Arctic Watch. Anchored in cutting-edge technology and collaborative partnerships with indigenous communities, NGOs, maritime industry, and governments this program stands as a beacon of safety, environmental stewardship, and regional resilience in the Arctic maritime landscape.

Arctic Watch is poised to revolutionize maritime operations in the Arctic. As vessel transits through the Bering Strait escalate, the need for a comprehensive and dynamic marine management system is paramount. This initiative aims not only to ensure safe passage for ships but also safeguards the delicate marine ecosystems from potential harm.

The strategic significance of the Bering Strait, as a pivotal maritime corridor of biodiversity and culture, connecting the Pacific and Arctic Oceans, demands a proactive response. Arctic Watch emerges as a necessity for all vessel operators. This program will play a crucial role in harmonizing maritime activities, disseminating up-to-the-minute environmental information, averting disasters, and helping facilitate rapid response to emergencies. Check out the Arctic Watch website for more information.

State Rekindles Public-Private Partnership: Safeguarding Alaska's Waters

Alaska, is a maritime state adorned with an expansive coastlines surpassing even the contiguous United States. Yet, our vast expanse is matched by the reality of limited resources within our sparsely populated regions. In this delicate balance, ensuring the safety of lives and property at sea hinges on swift, accurate, and strategic actions.

At MXAK, we understand the importance of timely information dissemination in deploying strategic assets during maritime emergencies. Anchored by our MSS Network, we are capable of transforming the daunting "search" in "search and rescue".

Our commitment extends further, standing vigilant to assist any vessel such as large cargo ships, promptly detecting unusual behaviors that could hint at impending trouble such as:

Pictured: Executive Director, Steve White, works with Rep. Edgmon's office to discuss MXAK capabilities and initiatives.

rapid deceleration, course deviations near perilous passages, or maneuvers into Areas to be Avoided (ATBAs) arouse our proactive intervention. Swift action remains our ethos, as time remains the paramount essence in averting maritime disasters.

In recent years, the essential support of our maritime community, combined with a renewed commitment from our state's leaders, has fostered a growing partnership. This alliance, between a non-profit organization like MXAK and the state, speaks volumes about our shared dedication to maritime safety.

Our gratitude resonates deeply. We express our sincere appreciation to the maritime community, whose steadfast support nurtures our mission. Our heartfelt thanks extend to the Alaska Legislature, the administration of Governor Dunleavy, and all those who have rekindled this public-private partnership.

Our Executive Director, Steve White, led an engaging session in our boardroom, shedding light on our vital role in maritime safety. Sharing insights, exchanging ideas – all in a day's work as we build bridges between the maritime community and our legislative partners.

Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at MXAK? Our Maritime Operations Center (MOC) is where the magic unfolds! Legislators and staff got an exclusive peek, witnessing firsthand how we monitor, support, and ensure the safety of Alaska's waters. Bridging maritime know-how with legislative insight for a safer maritime future!

Fostering Tomorrow's Maritime Leaders: A Summer of Excellence at MXAK

Our interns, Sid, Hope, and Jake, embarked on an enlightening journey at the Capitol! Standing outside the Speaker of the House's Office, where Elizabeth Peratrovich once voiced her powerful words on human rights, they gained a glimpse of Alaska's rich history and maritime influence. Exposing them to possibilities, connecting past and future, one step at a time.

This summer has brought a whirlwind of growth and learning to MXAK, as we proudly welcomed interns who are shaping their maritime destinies. These internships not only provide valuable experiences but also play a pivotal role in nurturing tomorrow's leaders.

Our collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's Center for Arctic Study & Policy Program (CASP) has borne fruit once again, as we enthusiastically hosted Hope and Jake. This marks our third consecutive year welcoming cadets from the program, infusing renewed vigor into our mission.

We also had the honor of hosting Sid through the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s (SHI) Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Internship Program. Despite the brevity of his tenure, Sid left an indelible mark. We look forward to continuing the SHI partnership!

These internships underscore MXAK's resolute commitment to nurturing tomorrow's maritime leaders. We wholeheartedly believe in fostering young talents like Sid, Hope, and Jake, empowering them to carry the maritime torch forward. The intersection of the USCGA CASP and SHI STEAM programs at MXAK underscores our dedication to cultivating a vibrant maritime community.

As we bid farewell to our interns and celebrate their remarkable journeys, we eagerly anticipate the next wave of talent joining our ranks. Through these programs, we invest in the future of maritime excellence, forging connections and strengthening the very fabric of our maritime bonds.

Photo 1 - Engaged with maritime industry members and stakeholders, Hope and Jake shined as they presented their capstone project, showing how the future of maritime leadership is in capable hands.

Photo 2 - Hope and Jake aboard a Matson Cargo Ship during their Anchorage visit, joined by our Watch Stander Edward. Experiencing maritime operations firsthand, they're embraced every learning opportunity.

Photo 3 - Basking in the sun outside the Haines Hammer Museum, the crew found moments of relaxation amid their action-packed journey. Exploring Alaska's maritime heritage and its breathtaking beauty.

Photo 1 - Sid, John, and Edward share a silly moment in the MOC. A fun snapshot reflecting the bond formed during Sid's insightful exploration of the MOC, which shaped his SHI STEAM Capstone.

Photo 2 - Hope and Jake stand in awe of the North Slope Borough Search and Rescue jet in Utqiagvik. Witnessing the heart of rescue efforts, their journey underscored the critical role of safety in Alaska's remote regions.

Photo 3- Hope, Jake, Sid, and Sen. Kiehl in the House Finance Room. A VIP tour of the Capitol showcases the intersection of maritime industry and public policy. Their journey opened new doors to understanding Alaska's maritime landscape.

Restoring History: Eldred Rock Lighthouse Preservation

At MXAK, we're delighted to stand alongside the Eldred Rock Lighthouse Preservation Association (ERLPA) in revitalizing the iconic Eldred Rock Lighthouse! Our commitment is unwavering, with financial support and logistical aid to fuel the restoration journey. The momentum is palpable as we watch this historical gem regain its former glory.

With fresh coats of paint replacing hazardous lead-lined layers, ERLPA's dedication shines. Their vision for transforming the lighthouse into a vibrant destination for weddings, retreats, and tours by 2025 is becoming a reality. The Chilkat Valley News has taken note, highlighting our combined efforts.

This endeavor isn't just about restoring bricks and beams; it's about preserving our maritime heritage and safety for vessels navigating the Lynn Canal. As the oldest original and the only remaining octagonal frame lighthouse in Alaska, Eldred Rock Lighthouse carries immense historical and navigational significance. It's a beacon of our past and a guiding light for our maritime future.

To join hands with ERLPA and learn more about their mission, explore their website at Together, as a community, we're making waves of positive change in Southeast Alaska's maritime landscape.

Hats off to the Chilkat Valley News for their coverage and gratitude to all those who've contributed. Our maritime history is a shared treasure, and our commitment to preserving it burns brighter than ever.

MXAK's Assistant Finance Director, Jonathan Wood, showcasing his commitment to ERLPA by volunteering at the Haines Fair. His dedication helps shine a light on the preservation efforts for the historic Eldred Rock Lighthouse.

Founder Ed Page, along with MXAK crew members Byron Hayes and Jon Dale, leading a spirited team on an outing to re-supply Eldred Rock. Ed's passion for restoration is contagious, and with Byron and Jon by his side, they're excited to contribute to the preservation of this historic lighthouse.

Rick's PacTracs Tip

Rick is MXAK's Senior Maritime Information Specialist and PacTracs expert. If you have any Pactracs questions, please don’t hesitate to give him a call at 907-463-2607 or e-mail him at

Unlocking the Grid

Question: Can I enable a grid to provide a more accurate vessel location?

Answer: Yes, this is a new feature that you can enable by simply clicking the "Show Graticule" icon (red circle). This will enable a latitude and longitude grid to help aid with seeing vessel locations more clearly.

As always, if you have any questions with PACTRACS don't hesitate to give us a call!

New to MXAK: Jon Dale - Compliance Officer

With a distinguished background, Jon brings a wealth of maritime experience to his role as Compliance Officer, working alongside our Compliance and Safety Chief, Ken Phillips.

As a Senior Marine Inspector and Investigator, Jon recently retired as the Chief of Prevention, overseeing a wide range of crucial responsibilities from vessel inspections to marine casualty investigations. His expertise is already proving invaluable to our team and the maritime community.

Outside of work, Jon enjoys a range of activities from fishing, skiing, and hockey to running and spending quality time with his three daughters. He's also an active volunteer as a ski and soccer coach.

We're excited to have Jon onboard and his upbeat and professional attitude have made a positive impression on all of us. We look forward to the contributions you'll make in supporting our mission of maritime safety and excellence. Welcome to the MXAK family, Jon!

USCG Sector Juneau Renamed to Sector Southeast Alaska!


JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard has changed the name of Coast Guard Sector Juneau to Coast Guard Sector Southeast Alaska, effective Aug. 1, 2023. The name change does not include any changes to contact information or operations.

While the Sector Southeast Alaska hub of operations is physically in Juneau, the name change reflects the entire area of operations, which extends from Icy Bay to Dixon Entrance and aligns with the Southeast Alaska Captain of the Port Zone.

“This change is intended to convey to the public that we are available to respond to requests for assistance throughout southeast Alaska,” said Capt. Darwin Jensen, commander of Sector Southeast Alaska. “We hope that this will make our availability more apparent to the people we serve.”


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