Keep Oil Out of Alaska Waters

  • by: Ocean Conservancy
  • recipient: Environmental Specialist Seth Robinson, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
You don't have to live in Alaska to care about what happens to the ocean there. Many Alaskans depend directly on a healthy and vibrant marine ecosystem, and all Americans recognize Alaska for its rugged, magnificent coasts.

In Alaska, the government is considering revisions to the state's oil spill prevention and response regulations. Strong regulations help ensure that oil stays out of Alaska waters and off of Alaska's coastlines.

We can't allow the government to weaken the current regulations.

Alaska's oil spill prevention and response regulations were put in place after the Exxon Valdez oil spill—which spilled roughly 11 million gallons of oil into the ocean, killing and injuring seabirds, sea otters, harbor seals, bald eagles, orcas and other marine wildlife. In the days that followed, the oil spread, contaminating more than 1,300 miles of Alaska's coastline.

Current regulations make shipping safer in Alaska and helped to prevent another devastating accident—we cannot put our ocean at risk of another Exxon Valdez tragedy!

The State of Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking public input on oil spill prevention and response regulations. The public comment period is an opportunity to voice our support for ocean conservation. Don't miss this chance to make waves of change for the ocean.

Please speak up and take action today.
Re: Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan Public Scoping Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan Public Scoping

Dear Mr. Robinson,

Please accept my comments in response to your agency potentially revising oil spill prevention and response rules. I support strengthening these vitally important regulations.

[Your comment will be added here]

The oil spill prevention and response regulations help ensure that oil stays out of Alaska waters and off of Alaska's coastlines. That's important for:

Alaskans who practice subsistence hunting and fishing and who rely on the ocean as an important source of healthy uncontaminated food, including Indigenous peoples who rely on fish and marine mammals for food security, health and as part of traditional cultural practices dating back thousands of years;

- Commercial fishermen whose livelihoods depend on Alaska's reputation for clean ocean waters;
- Recreational fisherman who come to the state to fish for salmon, halibut and other game fish;
- Tourists who visit Alaska to see the state's outstanding marine wildlife and scenery;
- Residents of Alaska who have a deep connection to the state's waters and coastlines; and
- Wildlife that live in or migrate through Alaska's waters.
- Many Alaskans depend directly on a healthy and vibrant marine ecosystem, and all Americans recognize Alaska for its magnificent ocean and coasts. It's in all of our interests to prevent spills and to ensure prompt effective spill response.

If the State of Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) chooses to revise the spill prevention and response rules, it should ensure that any proposed changes would not weaken protections that safeguard the marine environment. From subsistence and food security to commercial fisheries and tourism, clean waters and coasts are vital to the state, and DEC should not dilute protections.

If DEC chooses to revise the spill prevention and response rules, it should focus on strengthening protection of the marine environment and adjacent coastal areas. One way to do this would be to take steps to ensure that oil spills do not happen in the first place. When it comes to oil spills in marine waters, prevention is much more effective than response.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

[Your name]
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