Setting record straight on Clean Harbors project

As an organization also celebrating a milestone, our 25th Anniversary, the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC) recognizes Cook Inletkeeper’s 20 years of work on behalf of Cook Inlet’s waters and shorelines. 

We can appreciate that anniversaries are occasions to celebrate past accomplishments, but in his Dec. 3 Point of View, Mr. Shavelson stated that Cook Inletkeeper “created the state’s first Clean Harbors Program.” While Cook Inletkeeper did contribute funds toward the Clean Harbors project, we would like to set the record straight as to its creation. 

We owe the success of many CIRCAC pilot projects to partnerships with organizations that have overlapping interests and can pull them forward. Alaska Clean Harbors is illustrative of how we can do more by working together. In fact, Alaska Clean Harbors was one of many CIRCAC initiatives done in partnership with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. CIRCAC identified clean harbors as a priority in 2007, created a steering committee with ADEC, and provided initial project funding through a grant from ConocoPhillips and from other CIRCAC funding sources. Cook Inletkeeper agreed to continue on with the program after it had already been established.  

Alaska Clean Harbors is one example of a CIRCAC pilot project that grew to statewide significance and has taken on a new identity. But it remains part of our long history in Cook Inlet, along with Alaska ShoreZone, Geographic Response Strategies, Potential Places of Refuge, and a myriad of other CIRCAC projects.

There’s plenty of credit to go around and a lot of work lies ahead. We are gratified by the continued success of Alaska Clean Harbors, as well as the many other projects, programs and initiatives that are serving to better protect our magnificent region. We look forward to continuing to play a strong role in the safe transportation and production of oil in Cook Inlet. 

Lynda Giguere

Director of Public Outreach

Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council