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(Anchorage AK) The Alaska Chadux̂ Network (ACN) and the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) have finalized an agreement to develop and implement a program to respond to oil spill impacted marine mammals throughout Western Alaska, the U.S. Arctic, and Prince William Sound. The Agreement includes funding from ACN for ASLC to further develop oiled marine mammal response protocols and resources. In addition, the new program will involve opportunities to train, exercise and drill with ACN responders, including ACN partners in local communities, to support ASLC specialized veterinarians and technicians in the oil spill response environment in remote areas.

“We have been working on leveraging our unique response systems into an oiled marine mammal response program that not only meets the requirements of various state and federal agencies but also of those companies who benefit from our oil spill preparedness and response capabilities,” said Buddy Custard, President / CEO of the Alaska Chadux̂ Network. “Our experience confirms that collaborating with professional organizations such as the Alaska SeaLife Center is the most effective way to sustain specialized services in our oil spill response inventory.”

The new program will include development of a targeted Oiled Marine Mammal Program that outlines how best to rapidly mobilize, assess, treat, and stabilize marine mammals impacted by an oil spill in the remote areas of Western Alaska. Unique solutions to logistical and treatment obstacles will be identified through pre-response assessments that will address the unique challenges of operating where lack of infrastructure and support facilities are common. The result will be a pre-planned system that can be rapidly mobilized to support oil spill operations that requires the support of specialized marine mammal veterinarians, animal care professionals, and support equipment.
“The Alaska SeaLife Center has long sought opportunities to share our unique professional marine mammal capabilities throughout Alaska” said Chip Arnold, Chief Operating Officer of the Alaska SeaLife Center. “The Alaska Chadux̂ Network is well known for their creative approach to oil spill response throughout the remote reaches of Western Alaska. The opportunity to expand our marine mammal response capabilities with such a dedicated organization is one we are not only excited about for our program but for Alaskans as well.”

About ACN
The Alaska Chadux̂ Network is an industry-funded nonprofit organization that provides “best in class” oil spill response preparedness and response programs for regulated vessel and facility operators throughout Western Alaska, the U.S. Arctic, Prince William Sound, and Interior Alaska. More information about their programs and capabilities can be found at www.alaskaosro.org.
About ASLC
Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a 501(c)(3), non-profit research institution and public aquarium in Seward, Alaska. The Center generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To learn more, visit www.alaskasealife.org.

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