Dear [Your Congressman],
I am writing to encourage you, as my elected representative, to learn from the circumstances of the recent Selendang Ayu shipping accident in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. We cannot let disastrous oil spills such as this, or those of similar magnitude to the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989, happen again. This tragedy exemplifies that there is a real need to balance human safety and animal health in the Aleutian Islands and the Great Circle Shipping Route. It also shows that we need to exercise extreme caution in opening any refuge areas to human activity as this spill provides a clear example of the consequences.
Protecting Alaska’s coastal waters from devastating oil spills is important because:
A congressional investigation is essential to establishing the measures that need to be put in place to mitigate the negative impact of shipping traffic on Alaska's vital resources. These measures should include requiring ships that use Alaska’s coastal waters to have double hulls or hulls with minimum hull thickness and strength; meet minimum safety standards; provide sufficient training for crews; and possess adequate financial resources to ensure that teams are fully equipped and able to respond quickly in emergencies.
Thank you for considering my comments.