Overall Goals and Accomplishments

  • Provide a leadership role in improving our understanding and protection of Cook Inlet
  • Coordinate partnerships to further the goals of Cook Inlet RCAC
  • Educate the public to enhance the long-term stewardship of Cook Inlet
  • Make Cook Inlet RCAC data and information accessible



Congress creates Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC). First formative meeting is held October 26.


Initiates Safety of Navigation and Oil Spill Contingency Plan project.


Certified by US Coast Guard; initiates comprehensive review of Safety of Navigation and Oil Spill Contingency Plans; completes inventory of oil operations within Cook Inlet drainage; convenes safety of navigation workgroup.


Completes Cook Inlet Platform Structural Integrity Study; launches environmental monitoring pilot program.


Completes human factors needs assessment; enters into Geographic Information System mapping project with NOAA.


Participates in Safety and Efficiency of Navigation in Cook Inlet forum.


Completes long term intertidal baseline study; completes Contingency Plan in Cook Inlet Process and Efficiency study.


Completes broken ice study; begins Cook Inlet intertidal surveys.


Co-sponsors ice symposium; launches initiative to develop Geographic Response Strategies for Cook Inlet areas and harbors.


Sponsors Safety of Navigation in Cook Inlet Forum.


Receives States/BC Task Force Legacy Award for extraordinary efforts to prevent oil spills; completes pipeline safety study.


Conducts a demonstration project applying a coastal habitat inventory method called ShoreZone that uses aerial surveys to photograph and map the nearshore habitats.


Develops Alaska’s first surveys for National Coastal Assessment through Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program; hosts Cook Inlet Subsea Pipeline Forum to discuss condition of pipelines; secures agreement with operators for voluntary pipeline status reports; initiates development of marine firefighting manual for Cook Inlet; assists in developing non-tank vessel regulations.


Completes GRSs for 125 locations with plans for sites in Northern and Southwestern Cook Inlet; sponsors ballast water discharge report.


Commissions white paper on dismantlement, removal and restoration of unused platforms; launches study of dissolved and particulate metals in Cook Inlet watershed.


Designs Geographic Resource Information Network (GRIN) to address logistical needs; initiates Alaska Oil Spill Permit Forms and Applications Project to minimize paperwork and speed response; commissions pipeline integrity report for subsea pipelines; completes 127 Geographic Response strategies (GRSs); completes Marine Firefighting Manual and Salvage Plan for inclusion in Cook Inlet Subarea Plans; completes hydrographic surveys at major transects.


Completes GRIN Prototype and vessel traffic study; partners to identify Kodiak Places of Refuge, develops 43 GRSs for Kodiak, Afognak and Alaska Peninsula across Shelikof Strait; receives funding for ballast water sampling; initiates salt marsh mapping project for Upper Cook Inlet.


Passes resolution to urge USCG to permanently station docking assist tug in Nikiski funded by shippers and producers; succeeds in convincing Tesoro Alaska to station M/V Protector; Tesoro contracts for construction of new tractor tug; CIRCAC assembles Cook Inlet’s first network of ice observers located throughout the Inlet; partners to evaluate risks of non-indigenous species via ballast tank discharges from ships; sharply criticizes EPA for inadequately addressing public comments in NPDES Permit for discharges from platforms and facilities; ShoreZone becomes statewide program; initiates Clean Harbors and Marinas Initiative with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation; honored by the Alaska State Legislature for outstanding environmental accomplishments and contingency plan reviews; hosts two-day Navigational Safety Forum; conceives idea for ice forecasting network of cameras.


Develops Integrated Cook Inlet Contaminants Program; negotiates an agreement with Cook Inlet’s pipeline operators for volunteer pipeline reports to ensure pipelines’ structural integrity.


Completes groundwork for Ice Forecasting Camera Network; conducts intertidal sampling program.


Celebrates 20 years as an organization; secures funding for a Cook Inlet Navigational Risk Assessment, receives USCG Meritorious Public Service Award for leadership during Mount Redoubt’s threat to the Drift River Terminal in March 2009, the Seabulk Pride grounding in February 2006 and the sinking of the Monarch in January 2009; completes biophysical habitat mapping and imagery for every inch of shorelines within our areas of concern.


Creates Coastal Impressions Exhibit; as member of Cook Inlet Risk Assessment Management Team, completes Vessel Traffic Study and develops framework for Spill and Accident Causality Study.


Leads a Cook Inlet Risk Assessment Consequence Analysis Workshop. Issues position paper supporting subsea pipeline and dismantlement of the Drift River Oil Terminal to reduce tanker traffic. Partners with Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) to develop the Cook Inlet Response Tool.


World class Bob Franco docking assist/rescue tug goes to work in Cook Inlet. Completes Beluga Whale Winter Prey and Habitat Study.


Completes Cook Inlet Navigation Risk Assessment. Ice Forecasting Camera Network consists of 9 cameras.


Celebrates 25 years as an organization; the Cook Inlet Harbor Safety Committee is created and holds its first meetings; CIRCAC is honored by the Alaska State Legislature for 25 years of accomplishments; CIRCAC develops scholarship program and awards first two for environmental or maritime studies; Alaska ShoreZone is statewide program that has mapped 80% of Alaska’s coastline; GRS is now a statewide program and included in sub-area plans for the entire state, with the exception of the Arctic.

See our 25-Year Anniversary Report.


Director of Science and Research receives Ocean Leadership Award.


Completes vessel self-arrest study which results in industry commitment to advanced simulator training for Cook Inlet mariners and crew. Launches Cook Inlet Pipeline Infrastructure Assessment.


Awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Meritorious Public Service Award for leadership, advocacy, and partnership instrumental in establishing the Cook Inlet Harbor Safety Committee. Cuts the ribbon celebrating the completion of Harvest Alaska’s Cross-Inlet Subsea Pipeline, effectively fulfilling a goal we set in 2012 to improve navigation safety by reducing tanker traffic and shutting down the Drift River Oil Terminal.


Partners with Marathon Petroleum to create a new scholarship, administered by AVTEC, for students entering Alaska’s Maritime Training Center. Supports marine snow research. Upgrades and expands Ice Camera Network. CIRCAC has received USCG recertification every year without exception; CIRCAC continues to fulfill its responsibilities to conduct contingency plan and technical reviews, serves as a member of Dispersants Working Group, Cook Inlet Sub-Area Planning Workgroup, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), Kenai Peninsula Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) and Alaska Regional Response Team, among others, and participates in the Incident Command Center during incidents, drills and exercises.