This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Help prevent oil spills and advance science at Cook Inlet and downstream. More after this —
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One good thing that came out of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill was laws creating citizen councils to oversee oil industry activities and its regulators.
Cook Inlet is home to a patchwork of 16 jack-up rigs tapping about 250 oil and gas wells and 1,000 miles of pipelines. Its Regional Citizens Advisory Council is filling several seats on its board that will soon expire – including a commercial fishing seat .
Those seats belong to certified aquaculture associations and commercial fishing groups and the Cities of Kenai, Homer and Kodiak. Downstream if something happens upstream you are definitely in our area of concern. And our role is to continue to bring local voices and communities to the table.
Lynda Giguere is Public Outreach Director for the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council, or CIRCAC.
The Citizens Council is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Giguere says people are surprised to learn that it does so much more than oil spill prevention and response programs.
We have a biological and chemical monitoring program, we have taken the scientific lead for the state on a contaminant study for the Western Gulf including Kodiak, we have introduced the Alaska shore zone mapping project as a pilot program which has since expanded to include the entire state…
Add to that habitat mapping, studying winter prey for beluga whales, and working with the Coast Guard to create an area-wide harbor safety committee. Alaskans are far less complacent today about threats to lands and waters, Giguere says, and they are really paying attention.
That’s the most important thing that we are taking an active interest in what’s happening in our backyard and it’s a beautiful back yard deserving of the protection and the oversight that we are giving it with the citizen involvement in what’s happening there.
Names for the fishing rep on the board and the Kenai, Homer and Kodiak seats are being accepted now. The seats are for three years; members receive no pay but travel expenses are covered.
Contact the Kenai office and learn more at www.circac.org/ email@example.com
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.