The Coast Guard has recertified the Council as meeting its responsibilities under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. In a February 28 letter to the Council, Rear Admiral Michael McAllister, commander of the Coast Guard’s District 17 in Juneau, notified the Council of the recertification. The 1990 Act requires the Council to reapply yearly for the Coast Guard’s approval as the official citizens’ advisory group to the oil industry in Prince William Sound. Guidelines established in 2002 streamlined the recertification process for two out of three years, with every third year requiring stricter procedures. The Council underwent the streamlined version this year. The comprehensive process, which includes a public comment period, will be required again in 2020. The new recertification expires in March 1, 2019.
By Lisa Matlock, Outreach Coordinator Continue readingOne of the Council’s federal mandates involves environmental monitoring. With a small staff and vast geographic area, this monitoring takes many forms. Monitoring is often done by staff or contractors, but some monitoring takes place thanks to the Council’s volunteers and interns - all citizen scientists. Since 2014, the Council has had high school interns in the community of Cordova who help monitor for aquatic invasive species. Three interns, Sarah Hoepfner, Cadi Moffitt, and currently Cori Pegau, have volunteered to hang sturdy plastic “settling plates” in the Cordova harbor each spring, to be picked up in the fall. The interns check the organisms that accumulate on the plate for critters such as invasive tunicates and bryozoans.