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Project Information

Title: Marine Debris Removal Program

Project Year and Number: 2014: 14120116

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: None

Principal Investigator (PI): Chris Pallister

Assisting Personnel: None

Research Location:

Restoration Category: General Restoration

Injured Resources Addressed: Not Specified

Abstract: Gulf of Alaska Keeper (GoAK) originally proposed this marine debris cleanup project as a portion of a multiyear marine debris cleanup proposal to the Trustee Council. That proposal was submitted and approved before the full extent of impacts from the March 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami became apparent in Alaska. In response to the influx of Styrofoam, urethane foam, and other Japanese tsunami marine debris (JTMD), GoAK submitted an amended proposal to the Trustee Council which delayed the Barren Island cleanup project one year. GoAK instead spent the 2013 season removing JTMD from impacted PWS shorelines. GoAK started the 2013 PWS JTMD cleanup May 8 and will finish cleaning beaches there toward the later part of September.

While JTMD continued to wash up on PWS beaches during the winter of 2012/2013, and will likely continue to do so for years, the immediate threat to shorelines within PWS from the massive volume of foam tsunami debris has been substantially abated. GoAK has successfully removed most of the foam debris from inner PWS. However, Montague Island’s Gulf of Alaska shoreline has an immense quantity of foam debris littering its beaches. Refloated debris from the northern three fifths of that shoreline still poses a direct threat to inner PWS beaches. GoAK received a grant from the Alaska Legislature to remove JTMD from high priority beaches. We are using part of the legislative grant to clean a small portion of the northeast Montague shoreline to prevent, as much as is possible, refloated debris from entering and again fouling inner PWS shorelines. In addition to the 2013 cleanup work on northeast Montague Island, a portion of the legislative funding will be used in the summer of 2014 to help with the Barren Islands cleanup project.

GoAK has also been selected by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation as a contractor eligible to submit cleanup proposals for ADEC marine debris projects, including the projects supported with Japanese funds gifted to the U.S. for JTMD response. Funding GoAK obtains from ADEC, and with their approval, will first be applied to cleaning outer Montague Island, particularly the northern beaches that have the potential to send refloated debris into PWS.


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Proposal: View PDF (862 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 2014

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 2014

Annual Report: 2014: Due 09/01/2014

Final Report: Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us

Publications from this Project: None Available