The Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences published our paper this month about summer temperature regimes in southcentral Alaska streams and the potential implications for Pacific salmon. With five years of data from 48 streams across the Cook Inlet watershed, it is clear that salmon are already experiencing thermal stress and that over the next 50 years, chronic and sub-lethal effects will become more likely.
As we recognize the anniversary of the Exxon Valdez, it’s important to never forget the hubris and complacency that lead to Alaska’s greatest social and economic disaster. At the same it, it’s important to recognize the very same hubris and complacency are lapping at our shoreline today in Cook Inlet, and to take steps to ensure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.
Hilcorp Alaska gas pipeline leak in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Methane pollution. Beluga whales. Endangered species. Jeff Hildebrand.
The Issue: Current rules do not allow Alaskans to review and comment on applications for oil & gas hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations near their homes and communities. Get Involved: Cook Inletkeeper recently submitted a proposed rule to the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Council (AOGCC) that would require AOGCC to make fracking applications publicly available, and to provide Alaskans the opportunity to shape final permitting decisions.
Scott Pruit Climate Denier EPA Administrator Cook Inlet Alaska
Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson had his first confirmation hearing for the Secretary of State position before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, January 11. Now it’s time to tell our Senators Lisa Murkowski & Dan Sullivan to oppose this reckless nomination.
That’s the question I’ve heard most since the election. We’ve read a lot of the post-mortems, talked to a lot of Alaskans, and spent many hours thinking, alone and with friends, about our world and where it’s going. This election turned our thinking on its head. All our assumptions about data and polling and analysis were wrong. That’s a pretty big gut-punch. Now, we’ve elected a President who believes climate change is a hoax.
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG) is revising the management plan for Kachemak Bay and Fox River Flats Critical Habitat Areas. This process is now in the “scoping phase,” which means ADFG is looking for the issues it should address in the management plan revision. Scoping comments are due November 4
The Pebble Partnership has grabbed headlines recently by attacking an EPA scientist and claiming EPA somehow violated federal law by communicating with Alaskans. It’s all a phony story, of course, to pump up fear around the bogey man of “federal overreach.” But there’s a healthy dose of irony here, because while the Pebble people are crying foul on EPA, the proponent of the Chuitna coal strip mine in Upper Cook Inlet – Delaware-based PacRim Coal – has been actively working behind closed doors with the Corps of Engineers and other government agencies to get needed permits.
Inletkeeper is happy to have help for our new Food Hub project from our new intern Zandra Davis.
Salmon go beyond just being a food source and economic revenue. In keeping salmon healthy we need to keep their environment vigorous and their relationship with other species and ecosystems unharmed.
Inletkeeper is happy to welcome another Ted Smith Conservation intern! Maya Goodoni has joined our team for the summer, and as an environmental studies major, she brings skills to help us protect the watershed we all love.
BlueCrest Energy has proposed a fracking program at its Cosmopolitan Unit north of Anchor Point. The fracking target is about a mile and half deep, and over two miles offshore, so there’s little risk to drinking or surface waters. And BlueCrest plans to dispose of its fracking fluid wastewater in a regulated Class II disposal well on the Upper Peninsula. The BlueCrest fracking project has attracted considerable attention, but from Inletkeeper’s perspective, the greatest problems posed by more oil development don’t involve fracking in deep, offshore formations. Rather, the fact there’s zero production tax on Cook Inlet oil, on top of massive tax credits, means we’re almost giving away our publicly-owned resource. Furthermore, Inletkeeper sees climate change as the greatest threat to our people and planet, and we believe all oil and gas development has to stop so we can transition to a post-carbon economy around renewable energy.
Spruce trees that survived the bark beetle infestation years ago may now have to face off with the spruce aphid.
The Board of Game will soon consider a management plan for the Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area which will shape the future of Alaska’s critical habitat areas, fish and game refuges and wildlife sanctuaries for years to come. And we need you to weigh-in by March 16….
Wild salmon define who we are as Alaskans; they shape our cultures, they feed our families and they support our local economies. Yet today, Alaska’s laws and rules contain few hard and fast safeguards to protect the water and other habitat salmon need to thrive. More specifically, there is no requirement to retain sufficient water in our lakes and streams for salmon when a company wants to appropriate that water for an industrial or other use.
Premier of the film Super Salmon in Talkeetna
Urban salmon battle litter, culverts and fish passage issues, loss of stream-side habitat and alterations of natural river contours. But there’s another culprit: toxic copper dust from the brake pads on our cars and trucks.
Since 2010, Cook Inletkeeper and partners have been educating boaters and fishermen in the Susitna Valley on the importance of clean boating practices.