Citizens from Anchorage to Kodiak have a unique opportunity to increase public involvement in decision making about marine transportation and oil facility operations in Cook Inlet. Following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Congress established regional citizen’s advisory councils in Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound to provide a voice and vehicle for that involvement. The citizens that fill the seats on the Board of Directors and on the committees bring to the table a wealth of information expertise, and experience that has gone a long way toward protecting the waters of Cook Inlet from oil pollution.
The Council’s 13 voting member groups include: the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island boroughs; the cities of Anchorage, Homer, Kenai, Kodiak, and Seldovia; Alaska State Chamber of Commerce (tourism), commercial fishing, aquaculture, Native, recreation, and environmental groups. There are two important groups through which a citizen can further Cook Inlet RCAC’s work - Prevention, Response, Operations & Safety Committee (PROPS) and Environmental Monitoring Committee (EMC).
Most committees meet monthly and often by teleconference because many members live in remote communities throughout Southcentral Alaska. Members should anticipate volunteering 5-10 hours per month although this can vary depending on the time of year and the issues addressed. The Board of Directors meets quarterly to conduct business.