NEWS & UPDATES

October 18, 2021 - Virtual Seminar Highlights Challenges, Opportunities in the U.S. Arctic

Alaska Chadux̂ Network and the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) hosted a collaborative virtual seminar that focused on maritime challenges in the U.S. Arctic.   This informative event was held on September 8, 2021, and addressed a series of topics including: a keynote address focusing on the role of the U.S. Arctic in national…

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10/18/2021 - New Leadership Takes the Helm at the Marine Exchange of Alaska

A shift in season brought monumental change to the Marine Exchange of Alaska (MXAK) this month with the retirement of Captain Ed Page, USCG (ret.) after 20 years as Executive Director. In his place, MXAK welcomed Captain Steve White, USCG (ret.) who retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in August 2021 after 31 years of active-duty service.   Steve joins MXAK with extensive maritime experience including seven tours in Alaska. In his last assignment, he served as Sector Commander and Captain of the Port for Southeast Alaska. When asked why he decided to accept the Executive Director position at MXAK, Steve said he was drawn to the mission and the people. “I worked closely with MXAK during my time with the Coast Guard and I was always impressed. What Ed has built benefits all mariners in Alaska and I’m honored to be a part of this team.”   Ed, known internationally for his contributions to…

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10/18/2021 - U.S./Russia Joint Arctic Excercise Held in Anchorage

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Marine Rescue Service Russian Federation held their 43rd joint planning group meeting and exercise Aug. 31-Sept. 2 in Anchorage under the 2020 Joint Contingency Plan of the United States of America and the Russian Federation in Combating Pollution on the Bering Sea and Chukchi Seas.   U.S. Coast Guard representatives from Headquarters, Pacific Area, the 17th District and Sector Anchorage worked with their Russian Marine Rescue Service counterparts to review the Joint Contingency Plan and update a 2021-2023 joint work plan for improving preparedness and cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard and Marine Rescue Service Russian Federation in spill response in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.   The group toured the Alaska Wildlife Response/International Bird Rescue Center and observed an equipment demonstration at the Alaska Chadux Network headquarters in Anchorage, Alaska to learn more about ACN’s response systems and capabilities.   “Meeting our Russian counterparts face-to-face and…

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10/18/2021 - F/V St. Patrick Spill Response

On August 6th, Alaska Chadux̂ Network (ACN) was activated to assist Global Diving & Salvage with what was initially reported as a sheen coming from the bottom of Woman’s Bay in Kodiak. It was later discovered that the sheen was coming from the F/V St. Patrick, a riveted steel hull vessel that sank in 1989.   The U.S. Coast Guard accessed the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and hired Global Diving & Salvage to assess the wreck and institute oil spill mitigation measures. After being activated by Global Diving & Salvage under our existing agreements, ACN deployed approximately 1,200 feet of boom and sorbent material to contain the spill. The OSRV Ocean Liberty, ACN’s dedicated response vessel under charter from Paradigm Marine, was activated and brought on-site to act as a forward command, dive platform, and berthing vessel for the Global Diving & Salvage team.   Every day of the operation, ACN crews monitored the…

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08/4/2021 - Maritime Challenges in the U.S. Arctic – A Virtual Seminar

Meeting Maritime Challenges in the U.S. Arctic We must meet maritime challenges in the U.S. Arctic head-on. As the only Alaska-based OSRO nonprofit, we’re so pleased to co-host this unique virtual seminar with our colleagues at NAMEPA (North American Marine Environmental Protection Association)! This informative event will be held on September 8th at 0900(ADT)/1300(EDT). It will address a series of topics, including: a keynote address focusing on the role of the U.S. Arctic in national policies; current issues being confronted by stakeholders in the region; and, future challenges facing the U.S. Arctic Region. Additionally, three panel discussions will be featured. One will focus on unique opportunities and threats in the U.S. Arctic, while another will emphasize today’s operating challenges in the dynamic U.S. Arctic Region. Finally, the third panel will propose adapting strategies to rapidly evolving U.S. Arctic maritime activities. This unique event brings together expert insight from across the maritime sector, Arctic specialists, and…

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05/21/2021 - Recognizing U.S. Maritime Day

  U.S. Maritime Day was originally recognized and established by Congress in 1933. It marks the anniversary of the first transoceanic voyage undertaken with steam power, made by the steamship Savannah on May 22, 1819. Over the years, the maritime industry has grown and changed significantly, with technological advancement resulting in large tankers and barges that traverse the globe, delivering vital goods nearly everywhere. During the COVID-19 pandemic, despite significant logistical, scheduling, and safety challenges, necessary goods like food, PPE, and clothing continued to be transported and delivered all over the world, keeping the global economy moving and essential workers safe. Much like the pandemic, those challenges still persist, as some crews have been stranded on seafaring vessels for months on end due to COVID-related safety restrictions that have prevented crew changes. While maritime transportation has changed drastically since 1819, what hasn’t changed is the dedication and tenacity of those who transit our waters. So,…

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04/22/2021 - Joint Press Release: New Maritime Response Center to Serve Alaska’s Pacific Rim

  The Pacific Rim Response Center (PRRC), offering the collaborative services of three long-standing Alaska businesses, is based in Kodiak to provide maritime resources and spill response to the underserved region of Western Alaska.  Kodiak, AK; April 21, 2021 – Kodiak is now home to the Pacific Rim Response Center (PRRC), a facility that serves as a hub for a comprehensive suite of maritime resources providing vessel support, marine casualty response, and oil and hazardous spill response. The PRRC was established as a collaboration between Paradigm Marine and strategic partners Alaska Chadux̂  Network (Chadux̂) and Global Diving & Salvage (Global), providing one consolidated location for a range of resources to serve the Western Alaska maritime industry. With personnel and assets staged in Kodiak, the region is better served with Paradigm’s expansive marine construction and vessel fleet along with Chadux̂’s vast inventory of oil spill response resources, and Global’s extensive commercial diving, marine casualty response, and construction capabilities. Located…

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04/5/2021 - Building Partnerships to Protect Arctic Marine Wildlife from an Oil Spill

The Arctic region as defined by the U.S. Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 includes the “Great Circle Route.” This route is transited by thousands of large ocean-going vessels annually along the Aleutian Archipelago and supports billions of dollars in essential trade and commerce to and from the United States. This region further includes the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, covering some 3.4 million acres, with a mission to conserve, protect and restore the diverse lands, waters, wildlife and cultural resources of the traditional homelands of Alaskans. Over the years, vessel traffic to the northern Arctic region has drastically increased as the ice recesses and shipping channels remain ice-free for longer periods throughout the year. This increased vessel traffic creates an increased risk of spills. Alaska Chadux̂ Network (ACN) has continuously pioneered and refined solutions to reduce the risk of marine oil spills. Preventing oil spills before they happen is always the best approach….

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03/24/2021 - Op-Ed: Preventing the Next Exxon Valdez

There is a sad irony when you consider that the laws and regulations necessitated by the Exxon Valdez oil spill to protect the marine environment are not designed to accommodate the conditions that exist in Western Alaska and the Arctic today. Alaska’s coastline and environment were forever changed when the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef on this day in 1989 – and the impacts of that spill reverberate today. It was in the aftermath of the spill that Congress enacted the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, or OPA 90, requiring ship operators to implement comprehensive systems to respond to an oil spill. Much like the system for tankers in Prince William Sound, the new regulations required the worst-case oil spill from any tank vessel to be covered with resources contracted from the private sector. However, the regime developed under this seminal law simply does not adapt to the challenging conditions that exist…

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01/14/2021 - Joint Press Release – Marine Mammal Oil Spill Response Program Underway for Western Alaska

(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…

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11/16/2020 - Pioneering Safety: The Western Alaska Lightering Best Practices Committee

The Network initiated the Western Alaska Tanker Lightering Best Practices Committee in 2019, working in close partnership with the Alaska Chadux Corporation. Tank vessel lightering operations serve over 160 communities and villages in Western Alaska with products for essential heating and fueling. Millions of gallons of fuel are transferred from Ship to Barge and Ship to Ship in the offshore marine environment during the ice-free season for delivery to the coastal communities throughout the region. Each delivery is unique in the destination, draught restrictions, fuel type, facility capacity, environmental factors, and seasonality of ice. Protecting Alaska’s marine environment through a comprehensive oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response program is paramount for the mutual benefit of all tanker lightering operators. Developing a process to continually review lightering operations and establish mutually agreed to Best Practices and standards of care will enhance safe, efficient, and environmentally-sound tanker fuel transfer maritime operations in Western Alaska. The Committee leads…

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