The Kodiak Archipelago and the Alaska Peninsula Get Cleaned from Entangling Marine Debris

A coastal view of Alaska where the tide is out and exposes a muddy beach. On the beach rests drift wood and plastic debris.
The working conditions along a Kodiak shoreline (Photo: Island Trails Network).

Island Trails Network will expand the range of an already funded cleanup operation targeting “entangling” debris. This project will build off of previous cleanup efforts in the Kodiak Archipelago to remove debris from a wide range of shoreline through three primary effort areas.

Type of Project: Removal

Region: Alaska

Project Dates: December 2019 - November 2021

Who is involved?
Island Trails Network, with the support of a NOAA Marine Debris Program Removal Grant, will expand the range of an already funded cleanup operation targeting “entangling” debris. This will reduce or prevent impacts from additional debris types, and fund additional cleanup vessels.

What is the project and why is it important?
The Kodiak archipelago is home to a wide range of wildlife and marine species, many of them important species for local fishermen. It also receives a huge amount of debris, much of it on remote shoreline that are difficult to access. This project will build off of previous cleanup efforts in the Kodiak Archipelago to remove debris from a wide range of shoreline through three primary effort areas. These efforts include:

1) Large Vessel Cleanup - Crews will conduct cleanup operations on remote shorelines on Kodiak, Afognak, and Shuyak Islands by working from a large vessel that will allow them to stay offshore during marine debris collection.

2) Small Vessel Cleanup - Cleanup on shorelines that are only accessible by small open vessels from the town of Kodiak.

3) Set-net Bounty Program - Educate and engage commercial fishing participants by paying them a set price per pound for debris removed from their remote fishing sites. During the frequent and sometimes lengthy fishery closures in-season, fishers can use skiffs to survey and remove marine debris, and then transport it back to Kodiak for disposal.