Community Corner: A tour of the crown jewel of local oil spill response

By Lisa Matlock Outreach Coordinator I was a Homer resident for five years. Each spring I watched a fleet of fishing boats carrying noisy, funny-looking machines and pulling long orange and yellow lines around in circles near the Spit. I can remember asking, “What are they doing out there?” The answer was always, “Oh, that’s just SERVS training.” I never learned more than that until my first year with the council when I had the opportunity to observe that training personally. For two days, I participated in classroom training with a group of fishermen and other mariners about spill safety, oil spill tactics, wildlife protection, and Geographic Response Strategies for sensitive areas. I learned about different types of hydraulic power packs, skimmers, and oil containment boom. … Continue reading

Community Corner: The importance of public comment

By Lisa Matlock Outreach Coordinator The council regularly provides public comment on behalf of our 18 member entities on matters that support our mission of safe oil transportation in Prince William Sound. We are proud of our role as advocates on many technical topics of importance to our local citizenry. … Continue reading

Community Corner: Passing the torch through story

By Lisa Matlock Outreach Coordinator Many of the council’s volunteers and staff experienced 1989’s Exxon Valdez oil spill firsthand. Memories of the smell, the terrible sights and sounds, and the social and environmental impacts on communities drive our volunteers to keep such a thing from happening again. For today’s youth, who will someday join the board to represent communities impacted by that spill, the need to be vigilant and resist complacency can seem vague and somewhat disconnected to their daily reality. A recent focus of the council on oral history of the oil spill and our creation as an organization, is helping fill this gap. … Continue reading

Community Corner: Sharing our mission with students

By Lisa Matlock Outreach Coordinator Universities, both from Alaska and out-of-state, offer field courses that can connect students to places and topics firsthand, adding a dose of reality to their academic learning and creating lifelong memories for participating students. Every year the council receives requests for presentations and educational activities to help students understand our mission, our work, and its global significance. … Continue reading