September 11, 2018-Kenai, Alaska--The U.S. Coast Guard commended and memorialized Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council's (CIRCAC) continued vigilance to protect the safety and welfare of Cook Inlet waters with a Meritorious Public Service Award. The award recognizes outstanding support to the United States Coast Guard in safeguarding marine transportation and the environment. Captain Sean MacKenzie, Commander Sector Anchorage and Captain Patrick Hilbert, District 17 Chief of Prevention, presented the award during CIRCAC's September 7th Board of Directors Meeting in Kodiak.

Captain MacKenzie cited the Council’s sustained leadership and advocacy for a formal Navigation Risk Assessment following the grounding of the SEABULK PRIDE. For more than 17 years, beginning with convening a Navigational Safety Forum, CIRCAC advocated tirelessly for the Cook Inlet Navigation Risk Assessment, which was instrumental in creating the Cook Inlet Harbor Safety Committee. 

The Captain praised the Cook Inlet Harbor Safety Committee as “the principal forum for maritime stakeholders to collaborate on best practices and standards of care. It is an indispensable venue for communication and coordination aimed at enhancing navigational safety and environmental stewardship throughout Cook Inlet.”
CIRCAC's President of the Board John Williams and Executive Director Michael Munger accepted the Award Certificate and Medal on behalf of the Council.

This is the second time CIRCAC has received such an honor from the U.S. Coast Guard. CIRCAC was first recognized in 2010 for outstanding service during Mount Redoubt’s threat to the Drift River Oil Terminal.

CIRCAC is a non-profit corporation organized exclusively for the oversight, monitoring, assessing and evaluation of oil spill prevention, safety and response plans, terminal and oil tanker operations, and environmental impacts of oil tanker and oil terminal operations in Cook Inlet under the provisions of Section 5002 of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA90). Our mission is to represent the citizens of Cook Inlet in promoting environmentally safe marine transportation and oil facility operations in Cook Inlet. CIRCAC consists of 13 members from Cook Inlet communities, as well as Alaska Native groups, commercial fishing and aquaculture, tourism, recreational and environmental interest groups that have a significant stake in the environment and resources at risk from oil production and transportation in the region.