Issues - Watershed Watch Project
Cook Inlet faces heavy pressures from population growth and increased land-use development, such as logging and mining. More than 60% of Alaska’s population lives and works within the Cook Inlet watershed, and a population explosion of 600% over the past thirty years is paving over wetlands, degrading water quality and destroying salmon habitat. To compound the problem, Alaskan politicians are eliminating funds and weakening laws to protect our salmon, coastal and water resources. For example, in recent years, state politicians have eliminated the state’s once-proud coastal management program, rolled back rules protecting salmon streams from pesticides, removed citizens from important oil and gas decisions, and permitted polluting "mixing zones" in Alaska’s prized salmon streams.
To counter these rollbacks, and to give a voice to clean water and healthy habitat in the face of short-sighted development projects, Inletkeeper's Watershed Watch Project provides citizens with a toll free pollution hotline (1-888 MY INLET), and gives Inletkeeper a platform to comment on and challenge rules, laws and projects that will fill sensitive wetlands, degrade salmon streams and pollute our water.
Cook Inletkeeper’s Watershed Watch Program envisions sustainable human development which protects salmon streams, wetlands and other sensitive wildlife habitat areas from pollution and habitat destruction. Inletkeeper strives to attain this vision by:
- helping citizens engage government and industry personnel to resolve local and regional environmental concerns;
- holding government and industry accountable to enforcing and following environmental laws; and
- ensuring that environmental laws are held to high standards that protect clean water, healthy habitat and human rights.
Inletkeeper relies on its “eyes and ears” network of concerned citizens to report incidents of pollution and habitat destruction to Inletkeeper’s toll free hotline, and Inletkeeper helps citizens document incidents, take samples, and ensure proper agency response. Inletkeeper also organizes citizens to comment on development proposals and advocate for and defend environmental policies.