Celebrating a Decade of Citizen Environmental Advocacy
Keep up to date on issues and happenings in Prince William Sound by liking us on Facebook!
Prince William Soundkeeper needs to raise $25,000 by the end of the year in order to keep our organization up and running into 2015.
We need YOU!
Help us to preserve and protect Prince William Sound's water quality by becoming a WaterKeeper and join us!
An application to operate a commercial float lodge on Montague Island in western PWS was only approved to be at their lodge in Eshamy Bay. The request to operate in other locations around Montague Island was denied. DNR received 74 comments this activity request, 2 advisory and 72 against the permit. Thank you everyone who commented.
Without proper oversight, regulation and limits, floating lodges have the potential to create many negative environmental and public safety impacts. The owners and operators of the Eshamy Float Lodge now have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to prove that they can be good stewards and operate successfully without negatively impacting Prince William Sound’s water quality.
Reminder of Public Comment Opportunity on the Valdez Marine Terminal Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan (VMT C-Plan):
The public review on the renewal of the VMT C-Plan began August 6, 2014. Comments have been extended to November 21, 2014 while this review is ongoing.
PWSK is supporting the recommendation being made to the AK DEC by the PWS Regional Citizen's Advisory Council.
For further information, please contact Linda Swiss (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has been rewriting the regulations for the “Large Commercial Passenger Vessel Discharge Permit”. These regulations will replace the dismantled 2006 Citizen’s Cruise Ship Wastewater Ballot Initiative, completing the overturning of the will of the people in passing this legislation. The draft is very discouraging as it re-introduces the failed concept of “mixing zones” and allows for wastewater to be discharged from vessels while in harbor, or even at dock. The 2006 Voter Initiative did not allow mixing zones, which are not enforceable, especially moving mixing zones. Currently there are waste water to tap water solutions to drought stricken areas being implemented, so the unattainable technology issue isn't defendable any more. Nor does the old argument "municipalities do it" hold up as municipalities do not cruise down Montague Strait or up College Fjord.
Public comment was held for less than a month in the spring of this year. Read the full draft here:
PWSK will be watching for the next development of these so-called regulations to protect Alaskan waters.
With an El Nino event shaping up in North Pacific this summer, Prince William Sound and the North Gulf Coast of Alaska should see significantly warmer waters. Warm waters can have a negative effect upon water quality and the productivity of ecosystems.
Prince William Sound is a cold water ecosystem. Salmon depend upon ice cold, oxygen rich fresh water to spawn and rear young successfully. Warming temperatures and waters could disrupt this process with unexpected flooding events, loss of nutrients fry depend upon, and a less successful hatching rate. Once in the ocean, warmer waters could effect the food resources smolt depend upon, and warming water can promote diseases and parasites of types and virulence that doesn't usually occur.
There is also a significant public health concern with warming water temperatures in Prince William Sound this year. Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) has commonly occurred outside of the Sound, but our cold waters and swift currents have, to the best of our knowledge, kept an event from occurring here.
Today scientists believe it is only a matter of time before a human illness is caused by PSP in PWS. Visit the below link to understand more on this subject, and to learn how to protect yourself from Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning.
Legislative Actions Disenfranchising Alaskans:
The good news this month was that HB77 was removed
from consideration this legislative session.
But while we were all celebrating the defeat of House
Bill 77, Senators Dyson and Geisel introduced House
Bill 47 – A bill addressing the Preliminary Injunction
procedure, a.k.a. The Silencing Alaskan's Act Part II.
This bill would make those asking the Courts to delay
industry development/proceedings post a security
deposit for any "damages suffered" by the industry in
the suit. There already exists in our legal structure
plenty of checks and balances against “frivolous”
lawsuits. HB47 would only further restrict citizens,
Native Alaskans, and Non-profits from having their
voices heard. HB47 was passed through the
Legislature and will more than likely be signed
into law by Gov. Parnell.
Senate Joint Resolution 25 which urged the State and
Federal Governments to compel ExxonMobil to pay
the $92 million dollars they still owe Alaskan's and
Prince William Sound under the Re-Opener for
Unknown Injury Clause that was a part of the 1991
settlement, died quietly in committee.
Another good bill HB325, which called for a modest
increase on the oil & gas production surcharge that
provides funding for the Oil Spill Protection Fund, was
also killed in committee due to strong opposition from
The 25th Dark Anniversary of the
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
Events Commemorating EVOS:Monday, March 24, 2014 from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT,
11 AM - 12 PM PST, 10 AM - 11 AM Alaska Time
The Eyak Preservation Council, the Alaska Wilderness league,
Greenpeace and others will hold a Twitterchat in observance of
the 25th dark anniversary of the EVOS .
Use Twitter to ask questions and chat directly with
Dune Lankard, Rick Steiner, Denny Takahashi-Kelso
and Andrew Hartsig.
How: Tweet questions to @WildSalmon4Ever (Dune - EPC),
@alaskawild (Rick -Alaska Wilderness League), @ourocean
(Denny & Andrew - Ocean Conservancy), @greenpeace (GreenPeace),
@oceana (Oceana) or @earthjustice (Earth Justice)
using the hashtag #Exxon25
Monday - March 24 1-3 p.m. UAA
GETTING IT RIGHT 25 YEARS AFTER the EXXON
VALDEZ OIL SPILL: WAYS to STRENGTHEN PRE-
PLANNING and RESPONSE MEASURES from 1 to
3pm at the UAA Bookstore. This FREE informational
features scientist RIKI OTT, PhD, and a panel with
Dr. JOHN FRENCH, Pegasus Environmental Solutions;
CARL WASILLE, Alaska's Big Village Network; NIKOS
PASTOS, Center for Water Advocacy and Alaska
Inter-Tribal Council; PAM MILLER, Alaska Community
Action on Toxics; and RACHEL NOBLIN, Center for
MARK SWANSON, PWS Regional Citizens’ Advisory
Council, will lead hour-long presentations and
discussion commemorating the 25th anniversary of
the March 24, 1989 EXXON VALDEZ OIL SPILL from
6 to 8pm at the Loussac Library. The presentation will
include history of the spill, changes that have occurred
since the spill to help protect the environment and
affected communities, and prevention work that will
continue to be needed. A special exhibit by ALICIA
ZORZETTO will also be shown. h 24, 1989 EXXON VALDEZ OIL SPILL from 6 to 8pm at the Loussac Library. The presentation will include history of the spill, changes that have occurred since the spill to help protect the environment and affected communities, and prevention work that will continue to be needed. A special exhibit by ALICIA ZORZETTO will also be shown. For more information, contact Lisa Matlock at email@example.com or go to http://www.pwsrcac.org/announcements/25-years-exxon-valdez-oil-spill-events/.
UPDATE on HB 77 - the Silencing Alaskan's Act.
March 21- Good news! HB77 has been stalled in
committee. Senator Giessel stated that the committee
would not be taking up the bill. Perhaps that happened
because of the 137 people out of 166 people testifying
last week against the bill? Good work people!
Public testimony was held on Wednesday, March 12,
and then due to public pressure, again on Friday, March
14. HB77 went into Committee Hearings again on
March 19. Over 75% of the people testifying or
commenting on HB77were against it.
The Governor is pushing very hard to pass this bill.
Let's see who our Legislators are listening to.
HB77 short title: Land Use/Disp/Exchanges; Water Rights.
Here is an excellent article on why HB77 is bad for
Alaska and citizen's rights (and salmon's!) to an
adequate supply of clean, fresh water.
Read full bill here.
Find your local Legislative Information Office here.
How Embarrassing! - Governor Parnell had Alaska join with 20
other states challenging the right of EPA and the
Chesapeake Bay to clean up its estuary from the mess
made by industrial pork production. The Chesapeake Bay
Foundation makes this observation:
"We say to Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Alaska, and the
other 17 states, don’t tell us how to restore clean water in
our backyard. Each of the six Bay states and the District
of Columbia including hard working farmers, businesses,
and individuals are cooperating. Together, we are well on
our way to making our rivers and streams safer, improving
habitat, protecting human health, and strengthening local
economies. Those are good things, at least here."
25 Years of Prevention:
Commemorating the Exxon Valdez
The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory
Council will lead hour-long presentations and discussion
commemorating the 25th anniversary of the March 24,
1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill throughout the month of
March, beginning next week.
The presentation will include history of the spill,
changes that have occurred since the spill to help
protect the environment and affected communities,
and prevention work that will continue to be needed.
If you have questions about this schedule of events,
please contact Lisa Matlock at
Flyers for the presentations are available on the
Tuesday, March 4, 7 pm at the Valdez Museum
Thursday, March 6, noon Alaska SeaLife Center- Seward
Tuesday, March 11, 7 pm US Forest Service-Cordova
Thursday, March 13, 6 pm Pratt Museum in Homer
Tuesday, March 18, 6:30 pm Kodiak Library
Friday, March 21, 7 pm PWS Community College-Glennallen
Monday, March 24, 6-8 pm Loussac Library-Anchorage
Still Not Paid In Full
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill settlement included a
provision for unknown damages to be claimed
under the 1991 "Reopener for Unknown Injury"
Agreement and Consent Decree. Demand for full
payment was submitted to the government and
ExxonMobil in 2006. ExxonMobil has refused to pay,
and the Palin and Parnell Administrations have never
sought reparation. Thank you Senator Gardner
for introducing SRJ 25 to the State Legislature.
Link to full text of SRJ 25 here.
UPDATE - HB 77 - Water, Salmon & Citizens
February - after a flurry of intense meetings
held just prior to the Holiday's, in which only 1 person
spoke up for HB77, the Governor has pulled the bill
and has said that the HB77 will be reworked before it
is presented to the Legislature again. PWSK will keep
an eye on this terrible bill and let you know of any
Salmon need lots of clean, cold water flowing through
the streambed to continue to produce more salmon.
Don’t let Gov. Parnell give away Alaska’s sustainable
salmon and our clean water to resource extraction
companies! Speak up against HB77. Write your
legislators, call Governor Parnell and let your voice
be heard! This bill comes up for a vote in January.
Public meetings have been held to packed houses
with people speaking out against this public resource
give away! Read article from Les Gara here and
how recent public opposition could lead to changes
in this bill. Make your voice heard too!
Complete language of HB 77 can be found here
New Proposed Dispersants
The Alaska Regional Response Team has asked for
members of the public and stakeholder groups to
review the draft Oil Dispersant Authorization Plan,
and is providing opportunities for comment and
discussion. The review process includes public
meetings in the PWSRCAC region in Kodiak, Valdez
and Anchorage in November.
Public comment: Nov. 13 - Feb. 14, 2014.
Instructions on how to participate in this process
are provided on the ARRT website: alaskarrt.org.
Please refer to the ARRT website for more information.
Questions and comments? Contact Joe Banta (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or Mark Swanson (email@example.com).
Shepherd Point Facility, Cordova AK.
The US Army Corps of Engineers has released its
request for public comment on this proposed facility
on Orca Inlet, Cordova. Read the full application here:
Comments will be accepted until December 16, 2013.
Thank You For Your Support!
The October Fundraising & Membership Drive
has been very successful with over $3,500
received in memberships and donations.
With the Leighty Foundation's matching gift,
we've raised over $6,500 to benefit Prince
PUBLIC COMMENT NOTICE
SPEAK OUT ON FRACKING!
Fracking fluids are used to enhance oil and gas recovery;
they are injected under pressure in oil and gas
reservoirs, and they blast apart spaces in the source
rock to allow oil and gas to flow more easily.
Fracking fluids can contain diesel fuel and other toxic
chemicals, yet the precise constituents of fracking
fluids are often concealed as “trade secrets.”
In the Lower 48, the use of fracking fluids has been
linked to drinking water and groundwater contam-
ination, primarily from poor well construction or
poor surface handling of toxic materials.
The Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
(AOGCC) took public comment on new fracking rules
in April 2013. But pressure from the oil and gas
industry – including the powerful American
Petroleum Institute – caused AOGCC to re-open
the proposed rules for additional comments.
TALKING POINTS: Tell AOGCC we need stronger
fracking rules that:
1. Require before-and-after water monitoring around
each well that is subject to fracturing operations
within a half-mile of a freshwater source.
2. Require full disclosure where and when fracking fluids
will be used, what toxic constituents the fracking fluids
may contain, and what amounts of chemicals will be
used BEFORE and AFTER fracking operations
3. Allow no trade secret exemptions from the
requirement to disclose the constituents of fracking
fluids prior to or after their use.
4. Provide broad public access to fracking-related
information, and not rely solely on the problematic
FracFocus website to disseminate fracking fluid
information to the public.
5. Provide landowners adequate notice and opportunity
to secure their water rights prior to the use of
This action is of special note due to HB77
currently waiting in the wings at the State
Legislature which talks about water rights
usage and restricts public and AK Tribal
comment on these issues. This bill will be
put before the legislature again in Jan.
PUBLIC COMMENT EXTENSION NOTICE:
The public and agency review notice comment period
has been extended until: October 21, 2013 at 5pm
for PWS Adventures LLC's application for the Year-
round anchorage of a commercial floatlodge.
Lodge will be moored for no longer than 30 days
between August 1st through December 31st of each
permitted year within the following locations: Zaikof Bay,
Rocky Bay, Stockdale Bay, and Port Chalmers. From
December 31st to August 1st, the lodge will be
anchored in Eshamy Bay.
To comment or for more information, contact:
Emily Haynes: 907-269-8568
State Request for Comments
on PWS Floating Lodge
Comments are due by October 4 on an application
for a FLOATING LODGE in PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND
from Prince William Sound Adventures, LLC.
The request is for year-round anchorage of a
commercial floatlodge within State marine waters.
Lodge will be moored for no longer than 30 days
between August 1st through December 31st of
each permitted year within the following locations:
Zeikof Bay, Rocky Bay, Stockdale Bay, and Port
Chalmers. From December 31st to August 1st,
the lodge will be anchored in Eshamy Bay.
Application is for the period from November 1,
2013 to October 31, 2018. For more information,
to review the full application or to submit comments,
contact Emily Haynes, at (907)269-8568;
Fax: (907) 269-8913 or
Chugach National Forest Planning Forum
The Chugach NF will hold its next round of pubic
planning forums beginning next week. The schedule
is below, and please encourage your friends, colleagues,
and group members to attend, call, or write-in to
remind the Forest Service of the importance of
wilderness on the Chugach National Forest.
Remember that in the spring, during the last round
of forums, many seemed unaware of the Wilderness
Study Area. Only a minority of people spoke-up
for wilderness, while many others pressed the Forest
Service to provide more "access" to remote areas.
Even if you've already commented, please take a
moment to remind the Forest Service of the
importance of wilderness.
Written comments will be accepted until
October 18, 2013.
1. The USFS should recommend all of the Wilderness
Study Area (WSA) in western Prince William Sound
as designated wilderness.
2. The USFS should correct its flawed 2002 Wilderness
Recommendation, which excludes important parts of
the WSA from wilderness recommendation.
3. In particular, Knight Island, Glacier Island, Nellie Juan
Lake, and the upper Columbia Glacier basin are all highly
valued for their wilderness character and should be
recommended as wilderness as part of the current
Forest Plan Revision.
4. Wilderness character in western Prince William Sound
is highly valued by residents and businesses, yet
population and other pressures threaten the area's
natural resources. The USFS should fulfill its obligation
to manage this area as wilderness until Congress acts
on the Wilderness Study Area.
CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST PLANNING FORUM:
Schedule of meetings:
Valdez: Monday, September 23, 6-9 pm, Prince
William Sound Community College Room 117;
Cooper Landing & Moose Pass meeting: Tuesday,
September 24, 6-9 pm, Cooper Landing Community
Soldotna: Wednesday, September 25, 5:30-8:30 pm
Soldotna Sports Center;
Seward: Thursday, September 26, 6-9 pm, Seward
Public Library and Museum;
Cordova: Monday, September 30, 6-9, Masonic Hall;
Girdwood & Whittier meeting:
Wednesday October 2, 6-9 pm
Girdwood Community Center;
Anchorage: Thursday, October 3, 6-9 pm Chugach
National Forest 161 E. 1st Avenue, Door 8
DNR Commission Sullivan to run for U.S. Senate
Recently headlines announced the resignation of
AK Dept. of Natural Resources Commissioner
Dan Sullivan in order for him to run for U.S.
Senate against Mark Begich.
People may remember that DNR Commissioner
Sullivan was also once Attorney General Sullivan under
the Palin Administration. The same Attorney General
that wouldn't bother Exxon/Mobil with asking them
to pay under the re-opener clause the money
owed to the citizens of this state for cleanup
See Rick Steiner's article in the Alaska Dispatch,
a good reminder of the priorities that Sullivan
and Parnell have when it concerns Alaskan's,
what is owed us, and how they deal with oil companies.http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130915/decades-after-exxon-valdez-spill-questions-remain-about-legal-battle
September 3 is the deadline for recommendations
for consideration in preparation for the 2014
INTEGRATED WATER QUALITY MONITORING
AND ASSESSMENT REPORT, the biennial report
that describes to Alaskans the health of Alaska’s
waters (as required under Sections 303(d) and
305(b) of the federal Clean Water Act) and
includes the list of impaired (polluted) waters.
DEC encourages the public to submit any existing
and readily available water quality related data
and information for consideration by the Dept.
in preparing the Integrated Report. Updates or
revisions to the draft 2012 Integrated Report
are encouraged. Alaska’s draft 2012 Integrated
Report is available at
For more information or to submit comments,
contact Drew Grant at (907) 465-5304,
Fax:(907) 465-5274, or
Great news segment on KTUU Channel 2 on the 14th
about the legacy of the Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill in Prince
Bering River Coal Conservation
Your Letters and Support Needed
Could mountaintop removal coal mining occur in
the Prince William Sound watershed? Yes, it could.
On the eastern side of PWS the Bering River Coalfield
sits on the headwaters of the Copper River Delta.
"With an estimated 35 million tons of recoverable
coal, the Bering River coalfield has literally fueled
a century long battle between conservationists
and developers. " - Eyak Preservation Council
The Bering coalfield patent was once owned by
Chugach Alaska Corp. who then sold the patent
in the 1980's to a South Korean Native Corp.
Today, the coal patent is up for sale once again.
And while interests would still like to mine
the 12,000 acre, high-quality bituminous coal
tract, the US Forest Service would
consider assisting with the purchase of the
patent in order to retire the Bering River coalfields.
Retiring the coalfields would preserve our world
class salmon habitat, and one of the most important
migratory shorebird stopovers on the western
seaboard. This act would work to change
the tone and structure of future fossil-fuel
development discussions in our area which
must include social and environmental justice.
"The far-reaching impacts would also include
leveraging comprehensive conservation deals
for the Chugach region, and would promote a
sane and sound connection between healthy
ecosystems, healthy economies and sustainable
." - Eyak Preservation Council
The Dept. of Agriculture has advised that more
Alaskan grassroots support through letters and
small donations would be necessary in order for
the Bering River to remain a high priority in the
Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Please send your comments to:
Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack
U.S. Dept of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20250
Small donations may be made to the Pinchot Institute
for Conservation which has set up a trust account for
Bering Coal. If the deal does not go through, donors
will receive their donation back, with interest. Send
donations to the Eyak Preservation Council.
Bristol Bay commercial fisherman Fritz Johnson
is named to AK Board of Fisheries.
See news release here:
EXXON VALDEZ RECOVERY REMAINS
STUCK IN LIMBO
Federal Judge “Dismayed” over Slow Pace of
Promised Preliminary Work
Posted on Jul 15, 2013 by PEER: Public Employees
for Environmental Responsibility:
"Washington, DC - Nearly 25 years after the
massive Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, the
recovery plan for long-term natural resource
damages sits on a shelf, according to documents
posted by Public Employees for Environmental
In recent court filings, the U.S. Justice Department
and State of Alaska say they are still waiting for
long overdue scientific studies before collecting a
final $92 million claim to implement the recovery
plan for unanticipated harm to fish, wildlife and
Read the rest of the article here:
Prince William Soundkeeper Member Capt. Dave Janka
of The Auklet sent this picture of lingering oil in the
sub-tidal sediments of Eleanor Island on June 28.
Almost 30 years later the Sound is still dealing with
the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.
Final Chance to Comment to
EPA on Pebble Mine!
Submit all comments by May 31st!
Send an email to ORD.Docket@epa.gov, or fax to
Include EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0189 in the subject line.
Send a Letter by May 31st to:
Office of Environmental Information
(Mail Code: 28221T)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
COMMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY MAY 31.
Hazardous Marine Debris Alert!
Are you walking the beaches of PWS this spring?
Be aware of a hazardous marine debris issue with
10" aluminum pesticide canisters with colored caps/lids
being found on beaches in WA, OR, British Columbia
& AK. If found, DO NOT OPEN. They may contain
Aluminum Phosphide pesticides which react with water
or water vapor in the air generating toxic fumes.
Read the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Field Crew
Awareness Information Sheet below:
Metal Pesticide Canisters_Field Crew Awareness.pdf
State Legislature shelves ill-conceived
permitting/ water rules legislation.
Shelved but maybe not quite dead yet. Still, this is good
news for Alaskans and their right to determine
the health and well being of our watersheds.
PWSK will be keeping an eye out in case this
zombie arises from the grave again!
Read more at the Alaska Daily News:
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources
has issued a permit for The Wet Dog Race to
be held spring of 2014. The Wet Dog Race is
a 2,000-Mile / $1M purse endurance jet ski race
for 1,000 jet skis through the heart of PWS, Cook
Inlet, Kodiak, through the Aluetians and to Lake
Iliamna. What’s at stake - wildlife, seabirds,
marine mammals, fish; noise, air, safety and water pollution? Curious minds and 12 environmental
groups want to know. Presented by Susan Olsen.
This event will take play on MAY 19 in Anchorage at the
Tap Root. There is no admission fee but seating is limited. Come early to get a seat and compete in the science trivia contest with a prize for the winning team.
Anchorage Science Pub is a local not-for-profit that stimulates interest in science from the general public by organizing brief, entertaining presentations on interesting science topics at local cafes, bars, and other venues. Welcome are folks with no science background, self-identified “science geeks,” and everyone in between, but especially those with curiosity and a sense of humor.
For info on being a presenter or other details, email: anchoragesciencepub@gmail. com.
Update on the Chugach National Forest
Plan Revision by the Chugach Working Group
The Chugach NF has posted additional
meeting notes from the forums held across
the region in February. They can be viewed
The notes from Hope and Whittier are the only
two that still need to be posted.
*History and facts of this issue can be found in our "News,
Action, Resources" section under "Reports".
Among the most talked-about topics was "access,"
which people often defined as meaning more
routes for snowmachines or other motorized uses.
Among the least talked-about topics was wilder-
ness or the fate of the Chugach's 2-million-acre
Wilderness Study Area. Both the public and the
Forest Service don't seem to have much to say
about wilderness, which is surprising since the
new Forest Plan will most likely produce a new
wilderness recommendation to Congress.
To many of us, the current (2002) Chugach NF
wilderness recommendation to Congress is flawed
because it eliminates current protections of upper
Columbia Bay, Glacier Island, Knight Island, much
of the land around Port Wells, and other areas.
If these areas are to remain protected, the Forest
Service should hear more from the public. And to
do a better job on the Forest Plan Revision, the
Forest Service should be talking more about
wilderness, informing the public about an issue
that currently affects over 35% of the Chugach NF.
Our group is engaging the USFS and more updates
will follow soon. But as the Forest Plan process
continues, please spread the word among your
colleagues and friends that the Forest Service
should hear more about the value of wilderness
protections in western Prince William Sound. And
drop a line to the agency any time you can to
remind them of the many benefits of wilderness….
for camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, education,
science, carbon sequestration, protection of heritage resources, wildlife habitat, wild fish, connecting
children to nature, supporting local Alaskan
economies, and the use and enjoyment by present
and future people.
Amendment to Fed. Budget bill an attack
on the National Environmental Policy Act
The coal companies were able to sneak in a dangerous
amendment to the Federal Budget Bill that would limit our
ability to fight the proposed Chuitna coal strip mine, and
any other such projects that come down the road.
Amendment 184 will undermine the ability of federal
agencies to consider the full impact of coal mines by
weakening the National Environmental Policy Act.
This is a direct threat to water quality and the ability for
citizens to speak out against the destruction of our
Please tell Senator Begich and Senator Murkowski that
Alaskans want them to protect our fisheries from coal
You can use this quick link through the Cuitna Citizen's
Or these direct links to the Senators offices:
Parnell seeking to further limit Public Comment
Late on Tuesday night, March 5, the Alaska State
House passed HB77 with a vote of 23 – 14.
This bill will further cut public participation from
the natural resource development and use decision
making process. It also protects government officials
from public oversight by blocking citizen appeals.
Bills such as this, and the recently passed Cruise
Ship Waste Water bill that overturned the 2006
Citizen’s Water Quality Initiative, are direct threats
to the water quality and the ecosystem health of Alaska.
Community participation and oversight is essential
in making wise and sustainable natural resource
management plans and decisions. Please join PWSK
and Alaska's Environmental Community in making our
voices heard to our Government Representatives on this very
The Alaska Center for the Environment has set up
a easy to use comment submission form. Link here:http://akvoice.e-actionmax.com/takeaction.asp?aaid=1512
Prince William Soundkeeper on FaceBook!
We've joined the Social Networks! Check out our
new Facebook page where we will be posting
the latest information on issues and actions
regarding Prince William Sound's water quality,
photos and other interesting items.
This will be a great way to hear back from you,
our members and constituents. We are looking
forward to the conversations!
is being attacked from all sides - the loss of our Coastal
Resources Management Plan, and the recent dumping
(pun intended) of the 2006 Citizen's Initiative on Cruise
Ship Waste Water to return to the archaic "Mixing Zones"
methodology of waste water disposal are two of the
main examples. Consider howwe are impacted indirectly
from other sources as well:
As we all know, copper, arsenic and other toxic waste
materials from mining activities impact the watersheds
and rearing streams of salmon. Without clean, pure water
to rear salmon eggs, there is no salmon harvest. And that
affects us all in the end.
Alaska takes a step backwards in
protecting our Water Quality
Alaska House passes bill loosening Cruise Ship
House Republicans passed Gov. Parnell’s bill to allow
discharge of sewage and untreated wastewater in
Alaska waters, repealing a provision of the 2006
citizen initiative that protected Alaskans’ health and
state fisheries. Parnell’s bill would allow the release
approximately 1,064,448,000 gallons of sewage and
wastewater into Alaska state waters every year.
Read more at the Alaska Daily News:
Senate Finance is hearing SB 29 on Wednesday
at 9am and taking testimony on Thursday at
9am. Submit your written testimony to:
Contact your Senator, and the governor at
firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them that you
are paying attention, and that you don’t like
what you’re seeing.
Alaska Forum on the Environment
Feb. 4-8 - Anchorage, Dena'ina Center
The largest annual environmental conference in the
Alaska and the Pacific NW will have many tracks on Marine Debris, Water Quality, Mining issues and much, much, more.
Please go to www.akforum.org to view the complete agenda.
There will be opportunities during the conference to comment to Federal and State agencies on these very important issues affecting environmental health and water quality in Alaska.
US Forest Service to hold public meetings
Regarding the Chugach Forest Plan Revision The US Forest Service is hosting open houses to take place across the communities of the Chugach National Forest during the next month. The purpose is to solicit input for the Forest Plan Revision now underway. They will occur February 7 in Anchorage at the Alaska Forum on the Environment and then around February 20-28 in other communities.
2 Bills Proposed To State Legislation Would
Further Gut Cruise Ship Pollution Standards
Governor Parnell introduced SB 29 / HB 80,
"Cruise Ship Wastewater Discharge Permits"
which would essentially gut cruise ship pollution
standards and veto the citizens initiative on
the issue that passed in 2006.
Congress Removes Funding For Alaska
Fisheries and Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris
From the office of Senator Mark Begich:
Alaska Natural-Disaster Funding
Earlier this week, the House of Representatives stripped funding for the federal- and state- declared Chinook fishery disaster and tsunami debris clean-up in Alaska from the natural-disaster funding bill that passed the House. Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed in this action.
Alaska's natural disasters will not go away just because they do not receive as much national media attention as other disasters around the country. I have encouraged my colleagues to remember the plight of subsistence fisher- men who are not able to put food on the table this winter, or those Alaskans affected by the tsunami debris littering our beaches.
The Senate will most likely vote on the House version of the Sandy Bill next week. Though the House may have forgotten natural disaster victims in Alaska, I have no plans to hold up funding for the victims of Hurricane Sandy when the bill comes back before the Senate. I assure you that I am fighting for disaster funding and plan to seek funding for the Chinook fishery disaster and tsunami debris clean up in the next available legislative vehicle.
Senator Mark Begich
The Alaska Marine Science Symposium will be held
in Anchorage at the Hotel Capt. Cook and the Egan Center
January 21-25, 2013. For more information go to:
Kayak Island collecting major amounts
From Anchorage Daily News 12/14/12 :
"Debris that gathered this past summer on Alaska's Kayak
Island made walking on its beaches feel like walking
through a natural disaster zone, a federal biologist said Thursday."
"Jacek Maselko, a biologist with the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration in Juneau, Alaska, said he
was somewhat skeptical about what he would find when
he and a team embarked on a survey of marine debris
along Alaska's coastline.""At Kayak Island, which is in the Gulf of Alaska, "it really, really hit home because that place was just amazing," he said. Kayak and Montague islands tend to be collector sites, prone to larger amounts of debris because of the movement of the winds and currents. But Maselko said the change in the amount and type of debris at Kayak, from when he walked beaches there in 2008, was overwhelming."
Read the rest of the story here:
November 28, 2012
British Petroleum banned from Federal Contracts
From the Associated Press:
"The Obama Administration put a stop to new federal
contracts with BP on Wednesday, admonishing the
British oil company for a "lack of business integrity" and
also disqualifying it indefinitely from winning new leases
drill on taxpayer-owned lands.
A lengthy list of criminal counts against BP stemming
from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico
in 2010 prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to
temporarily suspend new contracts with BP and its
affiliates, the agency said. Existing contracts won't be
"EPA is taking this action due to BP's lack of business
integrity as demonstrated by the company's conduct with
regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil
spill and response," the EPA said in a statement."
Read more from the Anchorage Daily News:
November 19, 2012
Water Quality Antidegredation WorkGroup will meet
from 9-10:30 a.m. via teleconference. The Alaska Dept. of
Environmental Conservation (DEC) has established an
advisory Water Quality Antidegredation Workgroup to
provide DEC with various perspectives and inform the
department's development of draft implementation
methods for the state's water quality antidegredation
policy. A workinggroup teleconference will discuss
whether additional changes need to be made to the Draft
Work Group Report. An updated draft of the report will
available to the general public and members of the
Workgroup on November 8th on the DEC website. The
decision on whether to hold this meeting will take place
on November 16 and be posted at:
Antidegradation/index.html. For more information,
contact Brock Tabor at email@example.com or
September / October 2012
PWSK Joins EarthJustice petition to U.S. EPA on
Chemical Oil Dispersant Rulemaking EarthJustice is representing a coalition of conservation,
wildlife and public health groups in the Gulf region and in
Alaska in a citizen suit under the provisions of the federal
Clean Water Act to compel the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency to issue a rule on chemical oil
dispersants. EPA’s current rules - which during the 2010
Gulf oil disaster failed to ensure that dispersants would be
used safely - do not fulfill requirements mandated by the
Clean Water Act. Currently, regulations dictating
dispersants eligible for use in oil spills require minimal
toxicity testing and no threshold for safety.
For more information on this case go to:
Clean Harbor Working Group
A great big standing ovation goes out to the hardworking
group on the Cordova Clean Harbor Effort, part of PWSK’s Clean Harbor’s Initiative Program. An amazing 336 surveys
were collected from Cordova harbor users, including
tender captains, commercial fisherman, recreational
boaters, and charter boats. Thanks goes out to Allen
Marquette and his team of dedicated volunteers for their
hard work designing and implementing the survey and disseminating the educational materials. And thank you
to the organizations who donated office space, staff time,
equipment, funding and more: Trident, Copper River
Seafoods, CR/PWS Marketing, Alaska Sea Grant, OSRI,
CDFU, and the CRWP. These surveys will be analyzed
and used to further more Clean Harbor Initiative Projects
in the future. PWSK donated $6,000 towards this project
as part of the special bequest from Steve Smith, a PWSK
Founder and Board Member.
PWSK supports a YES vote on Ballot Initiative 2 – re-instating AK’s Coastal Management Plan.
The Coastal Management Program originated in federal legislation and the idea was to give local people a voice in development issues that are under federal jurisdiction. Alaska is the only coastal state without a CMP. There are federal requirements for what constitutes a state coastal management program, as well as policy that requires federal agencies to work with state programs.
PWSK feels that a coastal management plan is a very important tool for ensuring coastal Alaskans have an avenue for providing input into development decisions that affect them.
For more information on this important voter issue; visit the website of the "Vote Yes" sponsoring organizations:
Alaska sets up tsunami debris website
JUNEAU, Alaska - The state of Alaska has set up a website
to provide information on marine debris, including debris
from the 2011 tsunami in Japan.
The website was called for by Gov. Sean Parnell as part
of an administrative order focused on state agency coor-
dination and public information surrounding the debris
issue. Parnell also designated the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation as the lead state agency to
coordinate efforts to deal with any tsunami debris.
A Parnell spokeswoman says there are no costs associat-
ed with carrying out the governor's order at this point.
The order was signed Monday and released Tuesday.
The state is still in the process of devising an overall plan
for addressing the tsunami debris issue.
The website is at:
STATEWIDE TELECONFERENCE on July 9
A public hearing will be held from 9 am to 12
at the Legislative Information Office on the
BALLOT PROPOSAL to ESTABLISH a NEW ALASKA COASTAL MANAGEMENT
PROGRAM (ACMP). The ACMP program that
expired July 1, 2011 was administered by the
Alaska Department of Natural Resources.
The ballot initiative seeks to recreate the
program to be managed by the Department of
Commerce, Community and Economic
Development. The initiative is available at
Wet Dog Jet Ski Race Approved
The Alaska Daily News reported on June 28, 2012 that
Alaska Department of Natural Resources has approved
the permit to hold the Alaska Wet Dog Race. To read
Prince William Soundkeeper will continue to monitor the
activity associated with this race and keep you notified.
Exxon Valdez oil still very present
in Prince William Sound
Capt. Dave Janka of the M/V Auklet took these
pictures on Eleanor Island on May 26, 2012.
Tracking Japan Tsunami Marine Debris Hitting Alaska’s Coast
NOAA has set up an email account for reporting potential
Japan Tsunami Marine Debris (JTMD). NOAA staff is
asking that anybody who sees debris that they think
could be from the tsunami to send an email there with as
much detailed information as possible about what they
saw, where they saw it, and when. Pictures and related
information can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOAA is publishing updated GNOME model runs every two
weeks on the website at:
Chuitna Citizen's Coalition needs Alaskan's Support!
Governor Parnell is poised to allow mining companies to d destroy salmon streams in order to mine high sulfur content coal to be sold to China. Even though Governor Parnell has stated in the past that he "would not trade one resource for another") this is exactly what is happening.
PacRim Coal wants to destroy over 11 miles of salmon
stream in Cook Inlet. This would be the first time in state
history a mining company would be permitted to destroy
sustainable salmon for short-term profits.
If this is allowed to go forth, it will set a precedent on allowing such activities, a clear threat to the future health and sustainability of the State of Alaska's water quality and salmon fisheries.
Please send a letter to Governor Parnell, you can link
through the Chuitna Citizens Coalition.
In the Alaska Daily News Feb 16, 2012:
Judge Rejects Exxon attempt to
stop new cleanup charges:
Read Rick Steiner's important piece on the unresolved status of the Exxon Valdez Re-Opener Clause at the Mudflats Blog: www.themudflats.net
Attention EVOS Affected Communities
Please join NOAA to discuss an upcoming funding opportunity for funding restoration, planning, protection and prevention projects to improve marine habitat in EVOS affected communities.
The event will be held on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Downtown Marriott, Denali Room, 820 West 7th Avenue, Anchorage, AK
For more information on this upcoming funding opportunity go to:
Public Comment extended to January 26, 2012!
on Land Use Permit application for
The Alaskan Wet Dog Race Event
John Lang has applied for a land use permit with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to hold an annual water event titled "The Alaska Wet Dog Race Event". This event is a personal watercraft race from Whittier to Iliamna. Public comments were originally due on Dec. 27, but have been extended to January 26, 2012.
PWSK is concerned by this event due to potential issues regarding disturbance of wildlife, disruption of personal and subsistence activities, water pollution and noise issues.
To learn more about this requested permit and to submit a comment link to the DNR Public Notice here: http://dnr.alaska.gov/commis/pic/pubnotfrm.htm
Homer Harbor first to be
Certified "Clean" in Alaska
Congratulations to the Community of Homer for being the first harbor in the state to be certified "clean".
From the Homer Tribune:
"Alaska Clean Harbors is a voluntary program providing valuable pollution prevention tools for local communities to protect the marine resources that support our coastal economies.
After two years of working with Alaska Clean Harbors, from help developing the program and through the certification process, the ACH Advisory Committee certified the Homer Harbor in October as the first Alaska Clean Harbor in the state."
Read the rest of the story at the Homer Tribune: http://homertribune.com/2011/11/homer-harbor-becomes-first-certified-%E2%80%98clean%E2%80%99/
Exxon Valdez Reopener Clause Update
"U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland has taken under advisement arguments centered around the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and is expected to rule soon on Exxon's request to be released from further financial obligations for spill cleanup.
Exxon asked the court on Sept. 15, in the reopener phase of the ongoing litigation, to grant its motion to enforce a 1991 consent decree, relieving Exxon from a demand from the state of Alaska and the federal government for an additional $92 million to deal with long-term environmental damage."
Read the rest of this article by Margaret Bauman on the Cordova Times webpage here:
New Forum for Discussion of Invasive Species Monitoring in Alaska
The new Nisbase Citizen Science Forum can be accessed at: (http://forums.nisbase.org
The Forum is live and will be linked to other invasive species websites over the next month. There are individual forums for various citizen science projects within the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, including the Japanese kelp Undaria, the mitten crab, green crab and plate watch. The latter will be devoted to discussion of issues relevant to tunicate monitoring and expanding to include other species in Alaska
. Please sign up and feel free to post any relevant question, comment, concern you have regarding your monitoring work. Over the next months a frequently asked questions section will be added. The goal is to move a lot of the group and individual discussion to the forum, so if you have questions, please post them there. The forums are public and open to all.
From our Friends in the Gulf of Mexico:
To date the denial of the use of Oil Spill Eater has or will cost BP and its shareholders about $38 Billion dollars more than it would cost to completely clean up the Gulf Oil Spill which is estimated to cost about $4 Billion. Even though BP has formally requested the use of Oil Spill Eater twice since the oil spill began. (Please see economic comparison attached)
With the fact that fresh BP oil has been recently reconfirmed by LSU as continuing to leak from the Deepwater Horizon (Macondo 252 well) and the latest report on fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico (see link below) are being decimated, it is mind boggling that this has not received the attention that it deserves, and that the EPA could continue to deny the use of Oil Spill Eater which has been on the EPS National Contingency Plan list for 20 years and has been used on over 14,000 oil spills and utilized by every branch of the United States Military.
The Save Our Gulf website has been established by Waterkeeper Alliance to coordinate the efforts of Gulf Waterkeepers who are fighting to protect the Gulf Coast, its communities and environment, from the devastating BP oil disaster. This site provides a constant stream of transparent information being reported from the front lines.
Boycott Farmed Salmon
Stand Up for Pacific Salmon!
Prince William Soundkeeper is one of over twenty Waterkeeper organizations from Alaska to California that have launched the Stand Up for Pacific Salmon (SUPS) campaign in their watersheds, respectively. Calling for a boycott of farmed salmon to help protect Pacific salmon from the impacts of net-pen farmed salmon, the Waterkeeper groups are calling on the “Big Six” grocery retailers to remove the product from their shelves. ______________________________________________
The SUPS campaign asks customers of Costco, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Tesco, Kroger, and SuperValu to urge them to follow the example of their fellow retailer Target. In January, the discount chain, on the advice of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s SeafoodWatch program, dropped net-pen salmon from over 1700 Target stores.
Sign Up for Ocean Science & Leadership Expedition:
Student Scientist Spring Blog Updates