The Clean Water Act sets a national goal to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of our Nation’s waters. We support the proposed rule to clarify the process to determine which streams and wetlands are protected under the Act and believe the impact of the proposed rule will be decidedly positive for Alaskans.
From March 11 to March 24, Inletkeeper is in the running for an exciting clean boating grant from the BoatUS Foundation. We're one of eight finalists from around the country chosen to receive up to $10,000. The catch? We need your vote!
For decades, Alaska had strong safeguards in place to regulate the application of toxic herbicides and pesticides around our fish streams and drinking water supplies. In March 2013, the Parnell Administration issued new rules that eliminated Alaskans from decisions about spraying toxic pesticides and herbicides on state lands and rights-of-ways, and created a vague one-size-fits-all general permitting scheme to facilitate more spraying.
The State has already spent $190 million studying whether or not a 735-foot dam on the Susitna River is a good idea. The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) recently announced during a Senate Finance Committee meeting that they had squirrel away $33.5 million from previous appropriations for the dam. It is their intention to use these funds to keep this ill-conceived mega-dam project afloat for the next few years.
On Feb. 23, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources released a public notice asking Alaskans to comment on whether water should be reserved in Middle Creek to protect wild salmon populations. This is one of the most important decisions in Alaska history for protecting wild salmon stocks. Middle Creek lies in the Chuitna River watershed in Upper Cook Inlet. An Outside corporation run by two Texas billionaires – PacRim Coal LLC – wants to drain all the water from Middle Creek so it can mine 300 feet down through salmon habitat and sell coal to China.
Science Management ● Salmon or Coal? ● Chuitna Film Screeneings ● Pick.Click.Give.
For me the recognizable footprints of a culture of over consumption that dot the American West is a reminder of the incredible opportunity that exists for the still wild last frontier. Recognizing our fortune to still have landscapes overwhelmingly dominated by pristine wilderness and healthy ecosystems, we have the chance to learn from the mistakes of others and do things right.
In October 2013, Inletkeeper learned the Director of ADFG’s Habitat Division – Randy Bates – had embarked on a radical new plan to re-write the plans governing Alaska’s 32 Special Habitat Areas – our critical habitat areas, fish and game refuges and wildlife sanctuaries.
The Exxon Valdez taught us many lessons. For industry, a vital lesson was to never let oil hit the beaches, where TV cameras could highlight spill impacts. When the BP Gulf Disaster unfolded in 2010, BP used nearly 2 million gallons of dispersants to respond to its massive spill. But industry has refused to reveal the chemicals found in dispersants, and numerous studies show dispersants amplify the toxicity of spilled oil and lead to clean-up worker illnesses.
n Saturday night, January 17, Tote’s Midnight Sun – an 840 foot container ship running between Tacoma and Anchorage – lost power off Cape Elizabeth at the entrance to Lower Cook Inlet. Fortunately, the weather was calm and the captain and crew were able to re-start 3 of the 4 engines. Then we learned yesterday the 550' Tanker Pyxis shut down it's engines due to ice clogging its cooling water intakes.
We have updated our Healthy Habitat & Clean Boating guide inside, and the cover is sporting an amazing photo by John Tobin. We'll be distributing it to over 20,000 people in communities all over the Cook Inlet watershed - double last year's distribution thanks to our sponsors and to additional support through the Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Incredible flyfishing footage and local voices tell the story of salmon rich waters and the devastating impacts of the proposed Chuitna mine. The statewide Chuitna film tour kicks off in Kenai Tuesday, Feb 3rd at 6pm. Join us at the Triumvirate North Theatre, located 42715 Kenai Spur Hwy, just 5 minutes north of Kenai. The event is free and family friendly. There will be food, drinks, and live music by Robb Justice Band. The film tour's next stop is Seward Thursday, Feb 5th at 6pm at Resurrect Art Coffee House, located 320 3rd Ave, Seward. This will be an intimate showing, space is limited, arrive early!
In mid-December, New York State banned the controversial practice known as “fracking.” Just prior to that decision, the State of Alaska issued new rules that allow fracking to occur across the state. So, why did New York take such a strong stand on fracking, while Alaska just opened the door to better accommodate this practice?
The project manager for the proposed Susitna-Watana dam saying it could improve salmon-spawning habitat on the Susitna River by reducing sediment downstream is like the CEO of a cigarette company saying smoking could improve your health because it is gluten-free.
NOAA recently designated Kachemak Bay a 'Habitat Focus Area'. KBay is in our backyard, and Cook Inletkeeper works with all of our members and partners to protect our clean water and healthy salmon throughout the Bay and Cook Inlet.
Last week Rachel, Will and I attended the three-day 2014 Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle. Commercial fishermen from nearly every Alaskan fishery, support industry representatives, government agencies and non-profit organizations migrate to this annual event.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy & Management (BOEM) is moving forward with plans to lease 1.17 million acres of federal waters in Lower Cook Inlet for oil and gas exploration. This rich and productive area supports valuable commercial, sport and subsistence fisheries, and provides critical habitat for whales and other marine mammals, including the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale.
In 2010, large vessels transported nearly 450 million gallons of crude oil and 575 million gallons of ‘non-persistent’ oil (i.e. gasoline & light diesel) through Cook Inlet waters. The HRC has the potential to be a non-regulatory arena where all voices can come to the table in an organized manner to ensure best practices and pro-active measures are taken to protect Cook Inlet into the future. Inletkeeper looks forward to participating in this effort with a solution-oriented approach in line with our mission: Protect Cook Inlet and the life it sustains.
Public hearings soon; comments due Dec. 8, 2014 The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced its intent to develop an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for oil and gas leasing in Lower Cook Inlet. It will hold “scoping” meetings to learn what issues should be addressed in the EIS. Oil & gas leasing in Lower Cook Inlet has a long and controversial history, due in large part to the incredible commercial, sport and subsistence fisheries resources in the area.
Like many harbors in the state, the float system in the Homer Harbor is old and definitely needing upgrades. In the City’s words, the floats being replaced are “some of the oldest and most badly damaged floats in the harbor.” So out with the old and in with the new - hooray! But what happens with the old?