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Homer Harbor first port certified as an 'Alaska Clean Harbor'

By Michael Armstrong
Homer News
Homer Harbor first port certified as an 'Alaska Clean Harbor'

Rachel Lord, left, coordinator of Alaska Clean Harbors, and Deputy Harbormaster Matt Clarke, right, show the Homer City Council the Alaska Clean Harbor flag on Monday night at the city council meeting. The Homer Harbor received the first Alaska Clean Harbor certification last week.

The Alaska Clean Harbor Advisory Committee last week certified the Homer Harbor as the first Alaska Clean Harbor in the state, the organization announced in a press release last week.

Rachel Lord, outreach and monitoring coordinator for Cook Inletkeeper, presented the city of Homer with an Alaska Clean Harbor flag at Monday night's meeting of the Homer City Council.

Cook Inletkeeper is part of the Alaska Clean Harbors Advisory Committee, which also includes representatives from the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Green Star, Marine Exchange of Alaska and the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators.

Lord described Alaska Clean Harbors as "a voluntary program providing valuable pollution prevention tools for local communities to protect the marine resources that support our coastal economies."

Harbormasters do a self-evaluation of 88 best management practices and work to improve scores and meet criteria by putting in place better practices. Lord credited Deputy Harbormaster Matt Clarke with spearheading the Homer Harbor certification process with the support of Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins and the city council.

Examples of actions the Homer Harbor took include redoing ramp signs advising of environmental rules, establishing zinc collection stations at tidal grids, putting up stations to collect used oil at harbor ramps and adding an Alaska Clean Harbors page on the city's Port and Harbor website.

"These efforts have paid off. Homer Harbor is truly a leader in Alaska for proactive measures," Lord told the city council. "I'm proud to call Homer Harbor my home port, and I think you all should be as well."

For more information on the Alaska Clean Harbors program, visit www.alaska cleanharbors.org.

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