Cook Inlet

 

The latest LNG project proposed on the Kenai is the Kenai Cool Down Project. It’s currently going through the federal review process and a public comment period is now open for the environmental review.

 


 

 

Cook Inlet Keeper

 

Environmental groups are protesting the state’s move to renew a federal permit that allows oil and gas producers to release a variety of pollutants into Cook Inlet.

This is the first time the state has issued the permit. Environmental groups say the state should move the oil and gas industry away from the practice, and those groups are also pushing back against the state raising the volume of oily wastewater producers are allowed to discharge.

 


Pebble Limited Partnership

 

Last week, opponents of the proposed Pebble Mine spoke to a joint meeting of the Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce. They highlighted concerns about the project’s potential impacts farther away from the actual mine and closer to the planned shipping operations in southwest Cook Inlet, where instead of salmon, opponents are worried about bears and a growing bear viewing industry. This week brought Pebble’s rebuttal.

Andy Seitz, University of Alaska Fairbanks

 

Researchers now have a better idea of what’s eating king salmon in the open ocean. A new study from the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Science found kings filling the bellies of salmon sharks, but that wasn’t the information they were after.

 

 


 

Hilcorp has filed its plans for the coming year with the state and little new work will be done on its Cook Inlet operations. The independent, Texas-based company produced 85% of the gas that came from Cook Inlet last year, with daily production approaching 200 million cubic feet.

Alaska Department of Natural Resources

 

A panel of experts has been named to take a look at the pipeline infrastructure of Cook Inlet and make recommendations that will help ensure continued safe operation.

Redoubt Reporter

 

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation spent a lot of 2018 talking about how much progress it was prepared to make on an instate gas line in 2019 and beyond. But investors are still being sought and an environmental impact statement due in February is no guarantee that permits will be issued.

 

 


 

The state’s third largest oil and gas company is preparing to expand its operational footprint in Cook Inlet. Hilcorp recently filed an application for the incidental take of marine mammals with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

A citizen-science project this spring to document Cook Inlet beluga whales in the Kenai River was wildly successful.

Until it wasn’t.

The spotting project ran from March 15 through May 31 with scores of citizens taking part in planned, or sometimes impromptu, whale-spotting adventures. And though the study period was two and a half months, the sightings made in the river all came during just a portion of that time period, according to the woman who had her eyes on the river every day.

Kenai Marine Mammal Monitoring Project

  Beluga whale watching used to be a popular attraction around Kenai, but for the past 20-some years sightings have become increasingly rare. And, for most of the year, the small white whales are few and far between in this part of Cook Inlet. It's no wonder they are being intensively studied.

One effort, the Kenai Marine Mammal Monitoring Project, is a community-based citizen-science program, overseen by Kim Ovitz, a fellow with the University of Alaska Sea Grant Program.