This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Tackling trash and marine debris one beach at a time. Hear more after this . . .Islan Trails Network

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Tom Pogson and the Island Trails Network team are on a mission to clean up Kodiak’s beaches. With three collection programs and the very important sorting campaign . . . ITN kicked off the season with a community clean up.


“We have four active marine debris projects. One is called coast walk, and coast walk is a chance for citizens of Kodiak to clean up beaches that are accessible from the road system.”


Tom Pogson is the director of education, outreach, and marine programs for the Island Trails Network.


“We provide clean up kits that consist of a numbered super sack, a dozen or so alpar bags and a data sheet so they can record when they went, where they went, and register so we can keep track of it all. And that’s just an attempt to get the community active in cleaning our own beaches that we can get too easily.”


Out of the eighty-one beaches that were selected thirty-one were tended too. Pogson estimated  around 2000 to 2500lLbs  of trash and marine debris collected during coast walk..

“ The take home message was… Thirty-eight percent of the beaches we identified were spoken for or visited. But I think it is going to have to be a long-term process. Our hope is to refine this into a ‘do it whenever you want’, come get a clean up kit bring us your stuff, cause we are dealing with the stuff.”

Another project is the Incentive program. It targets the boating community.


“It use to be the set-netters incentive program but now it has been expanded to all boat  owners.”


Participants have to sort and weigh the debris between 12 categories and give an estimate of their efforts.


“In terms of area covered on a beach, length and width of the area they covered, how much time  they spent and how many people participated.”


The Incentive program will pay between 30 and 50 cents per pound depending on the way items are sorted  and delivery. Next month the Island Trails team will head to a remote island near Kodiak for more clean up and removal.


“The last collection program that we have is a volunteer-based program on Tugidak Island. It’s a NOAA grant, two years, five weeks each year, forty thousand pounds per year. That’s the target. We start down there the 21st of July this year and will go until the end of August. The last thing which is really important, is that we use members of the community to help us sort the debris in to five different categories that can then be recycled.”

You can visit the Island Trails Network website and check out the hit list and find out how you can help clean up Alaska’s beaches.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 101 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities.  In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie Mangini.