Letter From Cook Inletkeeper

May 10, 2011

letter reprinted with permission of Bob Shavelson, Executive Director, Cook Inletkeeper

 

VIA EMAIL (john@akcruise.org)

& U.S. MAIL

 

May 10, 2011

 

 

John Binkley, President

Alaska Cruise Association

360 K Street, Suite 300

Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2308

 

 

Dear Mr. Binkley:

 

Cook Inletkeeper is a community-based nonprofit organization formed in 1995 to promote

clean water and healthy fisheries. We have offices in Homer and Anchorage, and over 1500

members, supporters and volunteers throughout the Cook Inlet watershed.

 

Over the past several weeks, I have received inquiries about water quality and pollution

concerns related to cruise ship discharges in the Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat. Several of

these concerns stem from rollbacks to the citizen initiative passed by Alaskan voters in

2006, which was designed to, among other things, control cruise ship waste discharges and

ensure a fair return to state and local governments from cruise ship head taxes.

 

Based on published schedules, Homer will see up to fourteen (14) cruise ship calls this

summer. While local businesses may appreciate the increased tourist traffic afforded by

these visits, water quality protection remains of paramount importance, because the

fishing, tourism and related businesses in Kachemak Bay all rely on clean water and

healthy fisheries.

 

As a result, it would be helpful if you could provide answers to some basic questions so we

may better answer the inquiries we’re receiving from our members and the general public:

 

1. Will any cruise ship discharge gray water, black water, ballast water or any other pollution in the Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Area in 2011?

 

2. If so, which vessels will discharge, how frequently will they discharge, what will be the

composition of their effluent stream(s) and what volumes will they discharge?

 

I know the Alaska Cruise Association and its members pride themselves on responsible

operations and I appreciate your attention to this letter. Please feel free to contact me at

bob@inletkeeper.org if you have any questions otherwise I look forward to your timely

response before the first cruise ship arrives in Homer.

 

Very truly yours,

 

Bob Shavelson

Executive Director

 

Cc: (VIA EMAIL ONLY)

Walt Wrede, Homer City Manager

Tina Dey, Homer Chamber of Commerce

Alaska Department of Fish & Game

Alaska State Senator Gary Stevens

ANSWER ON MAY 19, 2001
FROM JOHN BINKLEY, PRESIDENT
ALASKA CRUISE ASSOCIATION


Bob, There appears to be three of our member lines each of whom have a ship that will call in Homer this season.  We have heard back from two of them, Holland America and Silverseas.  Neither of their ships that call in Homer plan to discharge in Alaska waters this season.


We have sent a reminder to the third line, Oceania, again requesting a response and will pass it on to you when we hear back.

I hope you are doing well.  Thanks.  John.

NEXT RESPONSE:

Bob,   We just heard back from Oceania and their vessel Regatta will not be discharging in the entire Kachemak Bay area. 

Those are the only member lines we are aware of that will be in Cook Inlet this summer.


I hope this is of help to you and please let me know if there is additional information we can help with.  John

FURTHER INFORMATION:

"Rock Vomit" Invades Alaska Waters"

> Ocean Power Magazine

> MSNBC News

> USDA: Aquatic Species: Definition & Cause

 

IN THE NEWS:
> Norovirus Outbreaks Plague Three Curises to Alaska

 "We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one."
        - Jacques Cousteau