Council recertification application available for public review

The council is seeking recertification as the alternative voluntary advisory group for Prince William Sound, as authorized under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90). The application has been submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard, which is charged with assessing whether the council fosters the general goals and purposes of OPA 90 and is broadly representative of communities and interests as envisioned under OPA 90. The recertification application is available here: 2017 Recertification Application. To obtain a printed copy, contact the council at (907) 277-7222, toll-free (800) 478-7221, or email Brooke Taylor. How to submit a letter of support: Print PDF … Continue reading

Vessel construction, planning underway for Crowley to Edison Chouest transition

Council conducting independent review of vessel designs By July of 2018, Edison Chouest Offshore, or ECO, of Louisiana will be the marine services contractor for oil tankers and the terminal in Prince William Sound. Until then, Alyeska and ECO will be working with Crowley Maritime, the contractor who currently provides those services, on a smooth transition between the two contractors. These services include escort tugs, general purpose tugs, oil recovery storage barges and associated personnel, all of which are key oil spill prevention and response assets for Prince William Sound. For instance, two state-of-the-art escort tugs accompany every laden tanker that leaves Port Valdez. One tug is tethered through the confined waterway called the Valdez Narrows, and one tug stands by at Hinchinbrook Entrance until the tanker is 17 miles into the Gulf of Alaska. The primary responsibility of these escort tugs is to rescue or “save” a tanker that may experience problems and prevent oil from spilling, and initiate response efforts should these prevention measures fail. Print PDF … Continue reading

Smithsonian partners with council to search for marine invasive species

Citizen scientists, the Prince William Sound College, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and the council partner for invasive species event in Prince William Sound Linda McCann Smithsonian Environmental Research Center A crew of marine biologists ventured to Prince William Sound this September for the third Smithsonian-led “bioblitz” in Alaska, this time in Valdez. During a bioblitz, volunteer citizen scientists team up with professional scientists to search for invasive marine invertebrates. This year, the Smithsonian partnered with the council and Prince William Sound College for a week of scientific sampling. Three months before the bioblitz, council staff placed “settlement plates,” sheets of sanded PVC that the invertebrates attach to over time. During the bioblitz, volunteers and staff collected the plates, towed plankton nets, set crab traps, and went scuba diving, to look for various nonnative species. The study helped establish critical baseline data for future research, invasive species management, and conservation initiatives. Fortunately, no new non-native species were found during the bioblitz or the scientific sampling. Print PDF … Continue reading

Tom Kuckertz: Retired staff member still contributes engineering expertise to council’s mission

The council has benefited from Chicago-born Tom Kuckertz’ broad experience in engineering for 16 years and counting. After his retirement from the council in 2014, Kuckertz continued on as a volunteer for the committee he worked with most closely, the Terminal Operations and Environmental Monitoring Committee. A young Kuckertz earned degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois and the University of Idaho, followed by two years in the U.S. Army as a Signal Corps officer, where he was involved in the design and implementation of large communications systems. “Basically, it involved how to move information from one place to another, and in most cases, deny access to adversaries,” explained Kuckertz. Print PDF … Continue reading