KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

environment

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Starting next year, Unalaska retailers won't be allowed to distribute single-use plastic bags to their customers. If they do, they'll be hit with $100 fines each time.

The City Council passed the bag ban unanimously Tuesday night after about six months of discussion and overwhelming public support.

Councilor James Fitch said it'll help reduce the amount of plastic littering local beaches and polluting the ocean.

Zoe Grueskin / KNOM

 

Since May, hundreds of dead and dying seabirds have been found across the northern Bering and southern Chukchi Seas.

The National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have labeled the event a die-off and are coordinating monitoring efforts with local communities.

"These birds have been starving," said wildlife biolgoist Kathy Kuletz of USFWS. "They're very emaciated. Their muscles have atrophied."

Berett Wilber/KUCB

The Unalaska City Council unanimously advanced an ordinance on Tuesday that would ban single-use plastic bags.

Under the proposed legislation, businesses would receive $100 fines for providing a customer with a disposable shopping bag, starting Jan. 1.

 

While Vice Mayor Dennis Robinson has proposed buying out stores’ leftover bags, the council is still debating how it will let retailers handle their existing inventory.

 

The ordinance is slated for a second and final reading on Aug. 14.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

City Councilors and community members expressed overwhelming support Tuesday night for an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags in Unalaska.

As it stands, the proposed ordinance would put the burden on retailers.

 

USFWS

 

 

Dead and dying sea otters are being found along the Aleutian Islands and the Alaska Peninsula.

 

During an aerial survey in March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service counted 56 dead otters from Cold Bay to Pilot Point.

 

Otters in Port Moller and Nelson Lagoon tested positive for streptococcus infection -- a common cause of sea otter mortality.

 

Pages