Western Alaska will have better oil spill response capabilities with a new vessel. The OSRV Ocean Liberty was expected to arrive in Unalaska by the end of March, but the ship is awaiting modifications and clean up of an oil spill in Shuyak Straight near Kodiak has delayed the process.
Unalaska Mayor Frank Kelty is excited for the added layer of safety the vessel will bring to the region. In a given year at America’s top fishing port, he says local fuel docks can pump up to 60 million gallons of fuel. Plus, large vessels pass through the region on major shipping routes.
“We all know of the catastrophes we’ve had with the Selendang Ayu, the Kuroshima, and vessels transitioning this area,” Kelty said. “If something happens closeby, this vessel would be able to respond and help assist with any cleanup work.”
The Ocean Liberty was built specifically to respond to spills. It will be the only boat like this in Western Alaska. It is contracted by the Alaska Chadux Corporation.
A similar vessel, the OSRV Sea Strike is based in Kodiak and covers the Alaska Peninsula. The Ocean Liberty should arrive in Unalaska by mid-April.
- Roughly 70 Alaskans testified against Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget cuts Friday night in Juneau. No one testified in favor of the range of budget cuts the governor proposed.
Governor’s team contrasts 10-year plan and alternatives, but House speaker says message is ill-timedThe plan looks at what the state would spend over the next 10 years if the Legislature adopts all of Dunleavy’s spending proposals -- and if lawmakers and Alaskans amend the state constitution to limit spending.
- "We’re certainly pleased with the settlement," the head of the cruise industry association said. "It’s really an opportunity for all of us in the cruise industry and the community of Juneau to move forward."
- Although the famous blue caverns from several years ago have disappeared, word of a new cave spread over social media this winter and brought crowds to the glacier. But while hiking to the cave is a remarkable experience, it also comes with some risk.