Funds available for educational projects related to our mission

The council works to educate Exxon Valdez region youth about the environmentally safe operation of the Alyeska terminal and associated tankers. Working with area youth is vital to fight complacency that can arise if new generations of citizens are not continually reminded of the need for ongoing oil spill prevention. To support this effort, the council is inviting proposals for facilitating learning experiences with Exxon Valdez oil spill region youth. UPDATE: The deadline for submittals has passed. Please contact Outreach Coordinator Lisa Matlock  for more information about the next application period.  … Continue reading

Community Corner: Alaska youth explore the Sound

By Lisa Matlock Outreach Coordinator As the skiff sailed across Cabin Bay, high-pitched twittering and piping sounds echoed over the water. Four football-shaped black birds with white wing patches on the water near the point seemed engrossed in calls emanating from speakers and several decoys sitting rigidly on the rock. One of the teens pointed and yelled, “There they are!” Sam Stark, an Oregon State University researcher leading the teens on their bird adventure, smiled and congratulated her on her keen eye. Stark developed several activities for these lucky middle schoolers, to teach them how scientists work to restore populations of wildlife affected by a major oil spill. … Continue reading

Peer Listening: Building resilience in communities affected by human-caused disasters

Community Corner Until 2010, the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill was the largest oil spill disaster in U.S. waters. That March, people around the world turned on the news to see our devastated wildlife and beaches. No one doubted that the environment of Prince William Sound and other downstream areas were hurt. What was not apparent to almost everyone was the short and long term damage to the people in the region’s communities. Technological disasters, such as an oil or chemical spill, a nuclear accident, or a large building fire or collapse, affect communities differently than natural disasters. A technological disaster is caused by humans, and there is a person or persons who can be blamed for the incident. Natural disasters have no one to blame. Natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, can often be predicted and prepared for. Technological disasters are often unexpected. After the Exxon Valdez spill, the council funded research on how technological disasters affect people living in the area compared to natural disasters. … 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