Cook Inlet RCAC approved for recertification by U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard has recertified Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council for another year, carrying the organization into its 25th year of promoting environmentally safe marine transportation and oil facility operations in Cook Inlet. The recertification followed a thorough review and evaluation of the Council’s considerable body of work, as well as consideration of public comments. The U.S. Coast Guard solicits public comments on Cook Inlet RCAC recertification every three years.

The council learned of the recertification by letter dated August 27, from D.B. Abel, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District. The recertification is effective through August 31, 2015.

“We are gratified that the Coast Guard has again recognized the importance of our continued presence in Cook Inlet,” said Cook Inlet RCAC Executive Director Michael Munger. “We also appreciate the letters that were sent on our behalf from individuals, partners, and stakeholder organizations within the Cook Inlet community in support of our work. We look forward to strengthening existing partnerships, and forming new ones, as we move into our 25th year in the Inlet.”

Since its inception in 1990, Cook Inlet RCAC has played an important role in increasing knowledge of the Cook Inlet environment, as well as improving navigational safety and preventing oil spills and accidents through our many initiatives and programs. Among the organization’s most recent notable accomplishments are initiating the first comprehensive Cook Inlet Navigation Risk Assessment, expanding the Ice Forecasting Camera Network, and partnering with the Alaska Ocean Observing System to develop the Cook Inlet Response Tool to assist in oil spill response.

Cook Inlet RCAC is a nonprofit 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. The council consists of 13 members representing boroughs, cities, and municipalities, as well as Alaska Native, commercial fishing, aquaculture, tourism, recreation and environmental groups in the Cook Inlet Region.

By law, Cook Inlet RCAC must re-certify every year with the U.S. Coast Guard to insure that it is meeting the mandates spelled out in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and representing the interests of the communities within the vicinity of oil terminal operations.