Clean Boating Discount Cards
June 9, 2016
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Clean Boaters get discounts at popular businesses. I’ll tell you more after this –
The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association offers free ergonomics training to seafood processing workers and fishermen to reduce injuries and increase productivity. Visit www.amsea.org to schedule a training at your plant or vessel.
Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.
Boaters who help keep coastal waters, lakes and rivers clean from Homer to the Mat-Su Valley can get discounts from popular businesses. The pilot program launched in the spring is an offshoot of Cook Inletkeeper’s Clean Boating program that began in the Valley five years ago.
It all started with oil and gas pollution and hydrocarbon pollution in Big Lake. DEC was doing water quality testing in 2006, even before then, and they determined that Big Lake was an “impaired water body” due to hydrocarbon pollution – exceeded hydrocarbon levels allowed under the Clean Water Act.
Heather Leba of Cook Inletkeeper directs the Clean Boating Discount program.
They were a little bit upset and shocked because this is their home lake and they really love recreating and living near Big Lake. So the community came together and developed an action plan, and within it was a stipulation for education and outreach. And that’s how Cook Inletkeeper got involved.
In the summer with high recreational boating, Leba says large amounts of oil and gas pollution, primarily from older, carbureted two stroke engines, concentrate mainly around boat launches.
The pollution stays in the water column for a few days and then it can evaporate over time, but if you have constant boat traffic over holiday weekends of if the weather is really good, that pollution persists and can then start to harm aquatic life.
The Discount Cards are a new approach to getting boaters engaged in protecting local waters. They take a free online boating course through the Boat US Foundation. That’s followed by a quick survey, and then signing up for the discounts.
And then I get all that personal information and I mail you a packet with your card and the list of businesses, some other discount coupons, and you can start using your card right away.
Businesses have the freedom to participate in ways that work for them. Sportsmen’s Warehouse, for example, gives 10 percent discounts on all fishing department items in all stores statewide. Denali Brewing Company, Cabela’s, Kaladi Brothers and NAPA offer various coupons, and the list goes on.
Leba says Inletkeeper will evaluate the discount program in the fall. She says there is growing boater awareness that minimizing oil and pollution will result in healthy salmon and clean waters throughout Cook Inlet, but there is one caution.
There is an increase in knowledge about the problem and people are really responding to it. But I think the hydrocarbon pollution is not going to go away unless two stroke engines are either banned or become obsolete.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.