Clean Boating & Harbors
Here at Cook Inletkeeper we love the water - and we love boating! We have a long history of working with boaters and harbors towards pro-active pollution prevention while enjoying our coasts, rivers and lakes. Starting in the 1990's we worked with the Homer Harbor to secure spill response kits on the floats, and a sewage pump-out barge for boaters. We continue to partner with other organizations and communities to provide resources, activities and action for boaters and for over a decade we have produced clean boating tide books that highlight tips and interesting facts surrounding boat-based pollution prevention.
Alaska Clean Harbors
Alaska’s vast coastline and rich marine systems attract hundreds of thousands of recreational and commercial boaters each year, and these magnificent resources generate significant revenues for local communities and small businesses. But Alaska’s harbors and boat launches also pose some of the most vexing pollution and environmental protection issues facing the state. Boat-based lubricants, batteries and plastics can pollute local waters, contaminate fish and shellfish, and entangle marine life. At the same time, our harbors and launches also provide incredible opportunities to educate user groups to adopt standardized protocols and reward pollution prevention practices.
In 2007 Inletkeeper board member Mako Haggarty joined the Alaska Clean Harbors workgroup. This group, funded by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) and the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens' Advisory Council (CIRCAC), and led by Nuka Research, developed best management practices that are found within the Alaska Clean Harbors Guidebook (available through Alaska Sea Grant).
In 2009, ADEC funded Inletkeeper to develop the Alaska Clean Harbors certification program. Similar to Clean Marina programs in the Lower 48, through ACH we work with harbor operators to implement best management practices to prevent pollution. Using a checklist, facilities perform a self-evaluation that is followed by a site visit by ACH. Final certification applications have to be approved by the ACH Advisory Committee. More information about Alaska Clean Harbors can be found at the website: www.alaskacleanharbors.org.
Abandoned & Derelict Vessels
With a coastline longer than that of the Lower 48 states combined, the State of Alaska has many coastal and riverine communities accessible only by water means and located off of the road network. As a result, these communities see considerable marine and riverine vessel traffic. While still a young state, Alaska has become home to an ever aging fleet of vessels due to federal and state fishing rationalization programs, economic downturns, the inevitable aging and increased maintenance costs of these waterborne vessels, and increased requirements of vessel regulations and permits. Taken all together, many of these vessels have become uneconomical to operate as intended and therefore do not move and stay moored in a public harbor or anchored over public or state tidelands. These vessels form an increasing number of derelict and abandoned vessels throughout Alaska’s coast and rivers. Without a clear and pro-active response strategy and program for dealing with abandoned and derelict vessels (“ADV”) in public waters, the number of abandoned and derelict vessels will continue to increase and will leave the public to pay for the increased risk of damage to the natural environment.