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Oldest Coast Guard Vessel Decommissioned

The U.S. Coast Guard decommissioned its oldest vessel, retiring the cutter Storis with eight rings of a bell and the playing of taps in a gymnasium at the Kodiak Coast Guard Base. About 70 Storis crew members wearing dress blues stood at attention during the ceremony to retire the 64-year-old icebreaker. About 200 invited guests also attended. Storis crews have boarded 7,500 vessels, saved 250 lives, kept 25 vessels from sinking, assisted 100,000 people and traveled 1.5 million miles. The Storis has been patrolling Alaska waters since the late 1950s. Capt. James M. McCauley, commander of the Storis, thanked Kodiak for the town's hospitality as homeport. McCauley's last outing with Storis was a 54-day patrol in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. All 54 days were completed without a single day out of service. Hallmarks of the Storis career include sailing the North Atlantic during World War II, when the ship was the command center for a fleet that prevented Nazi Germany form establishing a foothold on Greenland. This was a critical part of the war effort, Brooks said, because weather stations in Greenland helped predict weather patterns in Europe. In the late 1940s, the ship supplied medical aid to Alaska villages while patrolling Southeast Alaska waters. In 1957, Storis sailed the Northwest Passage in a historic trip to survey a deep water route. The route was needed to help protect North America's Arctic Coast during the Cold War.

12 of 20 Cruise Ships Cited for Pullution

According to a report from the Anchorage Daily News, an analysis by state regulators shows that more than half of the cruise ships that discharged wastewater regularly into Alaska waters received citations. The analysis shows 45 tests on wastewater violated permit levels for pollutants. The most common violation was for ammonia, found in urine. (Source: Anchorage Daily News)

Coastal Transportation Pays $412,101 in Fines

Coastal Transportation, Inc., a Washington-based owner of cargo vessels, paid the State of Alaska $412,101 to resolve violations of Alaska oil pollution prevention laws. The payment was for the company¡¦s operation of vessels in Alaska waters without approved Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plans and the required proof of financial responsibility. The State became aware of the illegal operation when a Coastal Transportation vessel

Alaska Files Civil Suit Against Royal Caribbean

Alaska filed a civil suit on Aug. 13 against Royal Caribbean Cruises, accusing the company of dumping oil and other hazardous wastes into state waters after the firm pleaded guilty to federal criminal pollution charges. Royal Caribbean pleaded guilty last month and was fined $18 million for 21 felony counts of violating federal water pollution laws in areas ranging from the Caribbean to Alaska’s Inside Passage. Attorney General Bruce Botelho said the state filed a civil case in Superior

Crowley's DH Petroleum Barges Deployed to Western Alaska

Crowley Maritime Corp. is deploying two new double-hulled, combination deck cargo and tank barges this week in Western Alaska. The DBL 165-1 and DBL 165-2 barges left Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Wash., earlier this month and made a brief stop in Seward for final outfitting of equipment - including hoses, lines, pumps and other gear - necessary for operating in Western Alaska. The barges are expected to load their first cargoes of petroleum products in Bristol Bay this week and will

Greenpeace Boards Arctic Offshore Rig

Image: Royal Dutch Shell plc

 Six Greenpeace activists boarded a Shell oil drilling ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and vowed to stay there to protest the company's plans to drill above the Arctic Circle, the environmental organization said.   They boarded as the drill rig was transported across the Pacific Ocean toward Seattle, where it will be staged for drilling on Shell leases in Alaska waters.   Royal Dutch Shell confirmed that the protesters "illegally boarded the Polar Pioneer"

Study Backs Up Cruise Industry’s Commitment to Environment

The results of two recent environmental studies regarding cruise ship wastewater discharge provide new and significant scientific insight into the low environmental impacts of cruise ship operations on the marine environment. Two independent yet interrelated studies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) provide a major step in understanding the environmental impact of cruise ships.

NASSCO, BP Hold Naming Ceremony

Caroline Shorten Conn, spouse of Iain Conn, BP Group Executive Officer, smashes ceremonial bottle of champagne on the hull of the Alaskan Navigator, the third Alaska-Class double-hull oil tanker being built for BP Oil Shipping Company, USA. On Saturday, November 12, National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO., a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, joined BP p.l.c. in naming the Alaskan Navigator

Alaskan Ferry Sustains Damage

The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) is cooperating with U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Juneau to investigate and evaluate structural damage sustained to the ferry Fairweather Thursday (December 16) in Southeast Alaska waters. Fairweather sustained damage by waves during a regularly scheduled voyage from Haines to Juneau late Thursday afternoon. The vessel carried 101 passengers at the time, including the commanding officer of Marine Safety Office Juneau

Coast Guard’s Largest Ice Breaker To Visit Juneau

The Coast Guard cutter Healy and crew is scheduled to stop in Juneau for a port call October 24-27. The ship departed Seattle June 13 to begin its Arctic cruise. The Healy crew circumnavigated the North American continent on its cruise. The crew and scientists on board conducted numerous science operations. Some of the science operations included studying the effects of the freshwater flux from the Arctic into the North-Atlantic

Riding Waves & Tides to a Cleaner Energy Future

The European Way The Meygen tidal stream energy project is currently under construction off the coast of Scotland. By the early 2020s, MeyGen Limited intends to deploy up to 398MW of offshore tidal stream turbines to supply clean and renewable electricity to the UK National Grid. (Credit: Atlantis Resources Ltd.)

When one thinks of offshore renewable energy, one usually thinks of offshore wind.  For the first time progress is being made in the U.S. to develop offshore wind resources. The first steel foundation jacket has been placed in the ocean floor to support the Deepwater Wind project off the

Shell Withdraws from Arctic Exploration

Fennica, an icebreaker vessel deployed by Shell in the Arctic (Photo: Arctia Shipping)

Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude in a move that will appease environmental campaigners and shareholders who said its project was too expensive and risky. Shell has spent about $7 billion on exploration in the waters off Alaska so far and

NOIA Commends Shell’s Efforts Offshore Alaska

Polar Pioneer rig operating into the floor of the Chukchi Sea

  National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement regarding Shell’s decision to halt exploration activities offshore Alaska:   “NOIA commends Shell’s efforts in the Chukchi Sea and recognizes the great expense

House Bill Introduced to Block Arctic Drilling

Jared Huffman (Official photo)

Rep. Huffman introduces Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act; bill would prohibit oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Ocean   U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman (Dem.-Calif.) introduced a bill Monday called the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015

Obama to Visit Arctic

Photo: Official Facebook Page of Obama

 President Barack Obama is traveling to Alaska in late August to visit the front lines of climate change, which he called "one of the greatest challenges we face this century".   He'll speak to a global Arctic leadership summit in Anchorage and also travel north to the Arctic

Alaska's Biggest Crane Arrives in Kodiak

Photo courtesy of Matson

Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, took delivery of a new 65-ton gantry crane to replace one half its size at the company's Kodiak Terminal.    Standing more than 340 feet tall at its peak with a boom spanning 164 feet, Matson's new crane is the largest in Alaska

US Gives Shell Final Nod to Drill for Oil in Arctic

Fennica (Photo: Arctia Shipping)

The Obama administration on Monday granted Royal Dutch Shell the final permit to drill for oil and gas in the Arctic for the first time since 2012, a move environmentalists vowed to fight.   The Interior Department gave Shell the final permit to drill into the oil zone in the Chukchi Sea

NOAA Declares Whale Deaths an ‘Unusual Morality Event’

Bears feeding on a fin whale carcass in Larson Bay, Alaska, near Kodiak. Credit: NOAA

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has declared the recent deaths of 30 large whales in the western Gulf of Alaska an "unusual mortality event," triggering a focused, expert investigation into the cause

Alaska Marine Lines Reduces Fuel Surcharge

Photo: Alaska Marine Lines

Alaska Marine Lines, a marine transportation company providing barge service to and from Alaska and Hawaii, informs it has filed with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to decrease the fuel surcharge from certain locations as a result of fluctuating fuel costs.  

Obama Pushes for US Icebreakers

File Image: Polar Star - one of the U.S. Coast Guards dwindling fleet of icebreakers.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed a faster timetable for buying a new heavy icebreaker for the U.S. Arctic, where quickly melting sea ice has spurred more maritime traffic and the United States has fallen far behind Russian resources.  

White House: No Threat from China Navy Ships in Bering Sea

The Pentagon has not detected any threatening activity from the Chinese navy vessels in the Bering Sea, the White House said on Wednesday.   "Based on their analysis they have not detected any sort of threat or threatening activities," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest

Five Chinese Ships in Bering Sea as Obama Visits Alaska

Five Chinese Navy ships are sailing in international waters in the Bering Sea off Alaska, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, in an apparent first for China's military that came as U.S. President Barack Obama toured the U.S. state.   Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said it was the first

Chinese Ships Spotted off Alaska

Image: Xinhua

 Five Chinese Navy ships are sailing in international waters in the Bering Sea off Alaska coast, coinciding with President Barack Obama’s visit to the the U.S. state.   US defence officials have spotted three Chinese combat ships

Fishing Vessel Sinks, Spills Oil in Alaska

Boom surrounds the sunken vessel Pacific Venture near The Twins, Sitka, Alaska (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lewis Beck)

 A 58-foot fishing vessel ran aground, sunk and spilled oil in Sitka, Alaska, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. No injuries have been reported, and there have been no confirmed reports of impacts to wildlife.   The fishing vessel Pacific Venture, a 58-foot seiner

Responders Monitoring Sunken Tug in Alaska

A Coast Guard Station Juneau 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and members of the Sector Juneau response department deploy containment boom around the sunken tug Challenger in Gastineau Channel in Juneau, Alaska, Sept. 13, 2015. The vessel sunk the day before while anchored in the channel. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Grant DeVuyst)

Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Natural Resources joined Coast Guard Sector Juneau personnel in responding to the tugboat, Challenger, which sank in Juneau's Gastineau channel September 12, 2015. Global Diving & Salvage and Southeast Alaska Lighterage

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