Created by Congress under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, CIRCAC serves as a formal mechanism for public participation in the oversight of Cook Inlet’s oil industry. We have developed a reputation for unbiased research and monitoring. We have an established track record of building strong partnerships to advance projects and initiatives, many of which have grown to be of statewide significance. Because of our efforts, Cook Inlet’s stakeholders have been well represented in decisions affecting safe operations, production, exploration and transportation of crude oil.
Since the start of our organization, it has been our strategy to understand what natural resources are at risk, what and where the greatest risks are, and how we can prevent and mitigate those risks from oil industry operations in Cook Inlet. You will see in this report the enormous progress we have made in filling many of these knowledge gaps through risk and ecosystem assessments and through projects designed to improve oil spill prevention and response capabilities.
Among our most significant accomplishments is the Cook Inlet Navigational Risk Assessment. In 2010, we marked our 20th Anniversary with the announcement that after years of effort we’d successfully secured enough funding conduct the Risk Assessment. Five years later, we announced its completion. Today, many of the Risk Assessment’s priority recommendations are being applied to improving Cook Inlet navigation, most notably the establishment of the Cook Inlet Harbor Safety Committee, which CIRCAC helped organize and on which RCAC representatives serve.
Because of successes like these, I can proudly state that CIRCAC has received U.S. Coast Guard recertification without exception since 1991, a testament to our organization’s effectiveness in fulfilling our Congressional mandates. Recertification is an affirmation of the work of countless volunteer board and committee members and professional staff who have committed time and expertise to make the RCAC model work to its full potential.
Largely due to CIRCAC’s efforts, we can say that we know significantly more about Cook Inlet than we did 25 years ago. CIRCAC is putting this knowledge to work for Cook Inlet’s natural and wildlife resources, and for the people who live, work and play here. We have been, and will continue to be, an effective voice for citizens as long as oil is moved, produced, or discovered in Cook Inlet’s waters.
Michael Munger, Executive Director