CIRCAC awards $5000 in scholarships to Cook Inlet students

May 4, 2016—Kenai—Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC) announces the selection of recipients for the 2016 CIRCAC Memorial Scholarships. For the second year, CIRCAC is awarding scholarships to honor the memories of Captain Barry Eldridge and James Carter to deserving Cook Inlet students who are seeking to advance our mission of promoting environmentally safe marine transportation and oil facility operations.

Kayla Haeg is being awarded the CIRCAC/James Carter Memorial Scholarship for Environmental Sciences. Kayla is a senior at Soldotna High School who excKayla Haegels in math. She is planning on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering followed by a master’s degree in petroleum engineering. Kayla, whose family was directly impacted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, expressed her commitment to working to ensure safer extraction and transportation of oil.

Receiving the CIRCAC/Captain Barry Eldridge Memorial Scholarship for Maritime Studies is Hunter Tillion, a senior at Homer High School. Hunter has been accepted to the California Maritime Academy at Vallejo, California where he will be working toward a degree in maritime transportation and earn a 3rd Mates License. Hunter grew up on the water, learning to drive a skiff at 7 years old. His overaHunter Tillionll goal is to become a ship’s pilot for large vessels transiting Southcentral Alaska.

Winners are selected based on their commitment to advancing CIRCAC’s mission and using their talents to improving Alaska’s unique and challenging environment. As this year’s CIRCAC Memorial Scholarship recipients, Kayla and Hunter will each receive $2500 to help them with their studies.

The CIRCAC Scholarship Committee is composed of board members Carla Stanley (representing the City of Homer), Bob Flint (representing Recreation Groups) and Scott Smiley (representing the Kodiak Island Borough). CIRCAC launched the scholarship program in 2015 to commemorate its 25th Anniversary through supporting the next generation of stewards committed to protecting Cook Inlet’s waters and shorelines. Work in the fields of maritime studies and environmental sciences can serve to advance CIRCAC’s mission of representing citizens in promoting environmentally safe marine transportation and oil facility operations.

CIRCAC is a federally mandated citizens’ organization, formed under the Federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA90). Its mission is to represent the citizens of Cook Inlet in promoting environmentally safe marine transportation and oil facility operations. In pursuing this mandate, the Council strives to help protect the environment, fisheries, economic vitality, cultural resources and recreational interests of Cook Inlet.

Contact: Lynda Giguere, Director of Public Outreach, 907-398-6205 or giguere@circac.or