The Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance (RBCA) has been removing marine debris from the beaches around Seward, Kenai Fjords National Park, and even Prince William Sound for more than a decade. A new video gives their volunteers, many of whom have been on multiple beach cleanups, a chance to express their feelings about marine debris, about cleaning it up, and about their personal connections to the ocean. “Perspectives on Marine Debris,” was filmed during a cleanup in Prince William Sound in June of 2013, and debuted last week at the Alaska Forum on the Environment. One sentiment echoed by many of the volunteers is that the ocean and coastal environment of Alaska is our home, and that keeping our home clean is both important for the environment and personally gratifying. The video was produced by the Ocean Alaska Science Learning Center at Kenai Fjords National Park.
Cleaning beaches in such remote locations requires not only a dedicated team of volunteers to pick up and bag the trash, but also sponsors who provide funds and services to complete the effort. For example, Alaska Waste donated the use of a dumpster and the final transport of the debris to the transfer station. University of Alaska’s Seward Marine Center allowed use of their dock for offloading the debris. Icicle Seafoods donated bulk “super sacks” that allow the crew to combine and hoist large quantities of debris onto the boat. Local boat captains Mike Brittain and Bob Barnwell donated the use of their skiffs for ship to shore operations. The funds for chartering a vessel were provided through the National Park Foundation and the Coastal CODE fund, a profit-sharing program of the Alaskan Brewing Company. Without the combined effort of all of these entities, the coastal cleanups could not take place. RBCA Marine Debris Coordinator Tim Johnson also extends his gratitude to his wife, Michelle Keagle, who patiently allows his obsession with these volunteer efforts to take over their lives for weeks at a time.