While in the middle of properly disposing of nearly 180,000 pounds of marine debris earlier this summer, the Island Trails Network in Kodiak received news that it will once again be awarded a grant to continue clearing trash from shorelines in the Kodiak Archipelago.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Community Marine Debris Grant will allow the group to continue its efforts to clean Shuyak Island State Park during the summers of 2016 and 2017. The all-volunteer effort will include the use of sea kayaks to access the trash.
“Like the Tugidak Project, this will be a volunteer-based effort,” wrote organizers at ITN, referring to another trash removal project it worked on at Tugidak Island, which was identified as perhaps the largest single deposit of marine debris in the western Gulf of Alaska. That grant lasted from October of 2009 to August of 2014.
Also from ITN: “Several other key bits about the new project include: using sea kayaks to access cleanup sites, sorting and characterizing marine debris we remove, creating a marine debris display of representative samples of the debris, and working with the Kodiak community to make recommendations on how to prevent marine debris from fouling shorelines in the Kodiak Archipelago.”
Those who would like to volunteer for the project should brush up on their sea-kayaking skills now to be prepared for the rigorous work ahead, ITN suggests. While Shuyak Island State Park has a lot of protected waters, the worst of the marine debris is found along the less-protected, and more exposed areas.
For more details on the project, visit ITN’s website at www.islandtrails.org, or visit its Facebook Page, which is updated more frequently.
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October 2015 – Alaska Coast Magazine