City council removes seat from Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association board

The Homer City Council at their Feb. 27 meeting passed resolution 23-019, expressing support for removing the city’s privilege to appoint a representative to serve as director of the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association (CIAA).

The resolution asserts that the city of Homer should no longer contribute to CIAA management.

City council members during their meeting discussed the challenges of filling the role, as it requires appointing someone who can look at everything from the perspective of the city, not from a personal point of view.

“While the City of Homer supports the CIAA goals of salmon enhancement and habitat protection, the decision-making fiduciary duties of establishing the means, methods and financing to achieve those goals are too far removed from the municipal public policy guidance of the Homer City Council, and often are sources of regional or philosophical contention,” the resolution says.

The aquaculture association was formed in 1976 to provide the Cook Inlet drainage with “an organized, scientifically respected community, responsible for the protection of self-sustaining salmon stocks and the rehabilitation of salmon stocks and habitat,” according to the group’s website.

The organization currently operates three hatcheries: Port Graham, Trail Lakes and Tutka Bay. They also own the Eklutna Salmon Hatchery, which has been out of operation since 1998.

The city also holds board seats for both the Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Committees. Council member Donna Aderhold said during the meeting that while the city has a stake in those committees, the aquaculture association is different due to the lack of consensus on issues the association deals with.

“I don’t think that you would find consensus about a position that the City of Homer should take relative to this organization,” Aderhold said.

Council member Rachel Lord said issues deliberated by the aquaculture association will come before city entities in the future.

“I think those will be good opportunities for the council to make decisions on a one-by-one, issues basis and weigh in on the pros and cons and decide how or if the city should take a position,” Lord said.

Emilie Springer can be reached at