Cook Inlet Navigator April 2017

Regional Citizens Advisory Council  

2016 was an eventful year. Among the year's highlights, we conducted a vessel self-arrest study, prioritized our goal of integrating data and information online, contributed to Alaska's first harbor safety plan, and identified new sites for our ice camera network. We also monitored more frequent spills and incidents which are shaping current projects and new initiatives. We invite your review. You can request a copy or download on our website. 
The Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council is the newest member of CIRCAC's Tourism Interest Group represented on the Board of Directors by Robert Peterkin, II. We asked KPTMC's Executive Director to talk about why they decided to join us and some of the challenges of marketing one of Alaska's most extraordinary destinations.

Update from the Board of Directors
CIRCAC held its Annual and Regular Board of Directors Meetings in Kenai on April 7. Not surprisingly, the agenda included updates from industry and regulatory agency representatives on recent gas and crude oil pipeline spills in the Inlet. These incidents have highlighted the need for increased oversight of Cook Inlet's oil facilities that CIRCAC believes it warrants. Discussions focused on the necessity for a pipeline infrastructure risk assessment.

Mayor Brian Gabriel (center) with Mike Munger (left) and Commissioner of Environmental Conservation Larry Hartig (background: Lori Nelson, Hilcorp Alaska).
Even prior to the onset of the incidents, CIRCAC was already proceeding with an update of its 2000 pipeline report. CIRCAC Executive Director Mike Munger is currently in the process of securing additional funding for its completion from various local, state and federal governmental entities and ensuring that the report is comprehensive. CIRCAC envisions this project will serve as a primary component of the ultimate goal of a larger Cook Inlet infrastructure risk assessment, and is looking forward to completing this much needed assessment. 
From left Deric Marcorelle, Captain Paul Albertson, Walt Sonen, Kyle Crow and Paul Shadura.

(Note: Hilcorp Alaska's offshore update to the Board can be downloaded here.)
Michaela Zurflueh receives CIRCAC's 2017 James Carter Memorial Scholarship for Environmental Sciences
Congratulations to Michaela Zurflueh of Kodiak, our 2017 recipient of the J ames Carter Memorial Scholarship in Environmental Sciences.

Michaela Zurflueh in her element at Kodiak Harbor.
Michaela was born and raised on Kodiak Island, and the ocean has played a large role in shaping her  future plans to study environmental sciences, with a minor in marine biology or fisheries. Her connections with the sea began as a 3-month old baby when her father, Jamie, would strap her in the boat in her car seat to go exploring, beach combing, island hopping and fishing. Michaela says she "can't be far from the ocean," and is therefore very excited to be enrolled in the Fall Semester at the University of Alaska, Southeast in Juneau after graduating this year from Kodiak High School.
Michaela's interests are laws, regulations and oil spill response but she is open to exploring other avenues of this broad field of study. She's already gotten a head start, thanks to Kodiak High School's IPAD Fisheries Class--funded through a grant from At-Sea Processors Association-- which allowed Michaela to take first-year college-level fisheries classes while still in high school. She learned about the CIRCAC Scholarship Program through her Fisheries Studies teacher, Mrs. Brown, who encouraged her to attend the Kodiak College Scholarships Fair. She applied for the James Carter Memorial Scholarship in Environmental Sciences, which was specifically designed to appeal to students like herself. Michaela is a member of the National Honor Society, and is an avid basketball and softball player. She is the daughter of James (Jamie) Zurlfueh and Sarah Zurflueh, an environmental specialist who works at the Kodiak Island U.S. Coast Guard base.
With proud dad, Jamie.

Next month: We will profile Filip Reutov, winner of the Captain Barry Eldridge Memorial Scholarship in Maritime Studies.

Read the News Release.
Cook Inlet Regional
Citizens Advisory Council