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

Listening to downstream concerns

By Lisa Matlock Outreach Coordinator Over the past two months, Executive Director Mark Swanson and I have been traveling as part of the council’s community outreach program to a good number of our downstream communities. The term “downstream” was coined after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, when oil spread across more than a thousand miles of coastline in southcentral Alaska, including the southern Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island. Because of this, when industry works on contingency planning for safe oil transportation through Prince William Sound, the council regularly speaks up for downstream communities and resources that could be affected by an accident. So it is important for us to visit these communities to hear from these citizens about how our mission connects to their priorities and community needs. … Continue reading