Happy Earth Day from Alaska Conservation Foundation! These sunnier spring days have us feeling rejuvenated and excited to carry out our vision of protecting Alaska’s lands, waters, wildlife, and ways of life. The past year has been challenging in many ways and has made us adapt our work to the hurdles of a pandemic, discover new ways to connect with each other, and left us leaning on the joy found spending time outside. While we celebrate Earth today, we are also celebrating recent victories that have stemmed from our work.
Youth Climate Leadership – Arctic Youth Ambassador Program
Alaska Conservation Foundation is thrilled to announce our involvement in the Arctic Youth Ambassadors Program! Arctic Youth Ambassadors brings together diverse and knowledgeable youth from across Alaska to serve as ambassadors for their communities in building awareness about climate change and life in the Arctic. The program is now hosted through a collaborative partnership between Alaska Conservation Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and World Wildlife Fund. This year’s cohort has been operating remotely so far but we’re looking forward to expanding to in-person gatherings when it is safe to do so. Alaska Conservation Foundation is proud to be investing in youth leadership to tackle our region’s most pressing climate issues!
Conservation Intern Success Story – Hybrid Shipping Vessels
Alaska Conservation Foundation is excited to have supported Chandler Kemp through the Ted Smith Conservation Internship Program in pursuing a project studying electric power for fishing vessels last summer with host organization Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association. Chandler was able to find the amount of battery capacity required to supply the electricity in a variety of fishing scenarios, as well as provide a range of expected equipment costs for all-electric and hybrid systems, and estimate the fuel savings that those systems could achieve.
The results of the study show that fuel savings alone are unlikely to offset the costs of hybrid systems, but the added value of a quieter vessel operation, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced engine maintenance may motivate some fishermen to soon invest in hybrid systems for their fishing vessels. Climate change adaptation and mitigation is one of our highest priorities — Chandler’s work has us feeling hopeful about the future of renewable systems for Alaska’s most important industries!
Protecting the Aleutian Islands – Collaborative Geofencing Project
The Aleutian and Bering Sea Initiative, one of three collaborative partnerships hosted by Alaska Conservation Foundation, has continued working on the expansion of the geofencing project to alert marine vessels when they are approaching critical marine animal’s habitats. Most recently the project worked to determine if the project has actually been successful in diverting ship traffic since being established in 2016.
The Aleutian and Bering Sea Initiative, in conjunction with partners, was able to publish results showing that geofencing efforts have indeed been effective in diverting vessel traffic away from critical marine habitats in the Aleutian Islands over the past four years — great news for one of the most biologically productive regions on the planet!