Cook Inlet RCAC inviting membership; accepting new board appointments

Since its inception, the Cook Inlet RCAC has formed partnerships and encouraged consensus decision making. Through this process we bring stakeholders together to create environmental monitoring and oil spill prevention programs to promote safe production and transportation of oil in Cook Inlet.

Our Board of Directors consists of representatives of 13 stakeholder organizations (and their alternates) that serve 3-year terms. These 3-year terms expire on a rotating basis, so in any given year we may fill 4 or 5 seats. This year, Alaska Native and Environmental organizations will each elect a representative and alternate, and the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island Boroughs will appoint their representatives and alternates to new 3-year terms. Respectively, these seats are currently being held by Michael Opheim, Deric Marcorelle, Grace Merkes and Scott Smiley. They have been active and highly engaged board members, serving on various committees and regularly attending meetings.

We are now in the process of accepting appointments, as well as electing representatives for these positions to serve on our Board of Directors. To participate in our elections, stakeholder organizations must become members of Cook Inlet RCAC prior to the election. We approached non-member Alaska Native and environmental organizations with close ties to Cook Inlet in mid-December and invited them to consider becoming certified members. We also placed ads and public service announcements in widely distributed news outlets. The Council’s Credentials Committee reviews applications against several criteria. Certified members submit nominations, and from those elect their representatives. Mayors or Council/Assembly members of the 7 local units of government on the Council typically appoint their representatives.

Elected and appointed members are officially seated on the Council Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting. Our next Annual Meeting will be held on April 25, in Kenai, at the Aquaculture Association building.

Last year, the available seats were those held by Recreation interests, the State Chamber of Commerce, the Municipality of Anchorage and the City of Seldovia. Next year, the Commercial Fishing, Aquaculture Associations, and cities of Kenai, Homer, and Kodiak seats will expire.

To learn more about membership in Cook Inlet RCAC or our election procedures, contact Jerry Rombach at 907-283-7222 or