environment

KUCB

Unalaska's first drone-operated salmon survey is now underway.

The Unalaska Native Fishermen's Association (UNFA) has hired Andy Dietrick — of Aleutian Aerial LLC — to capture video of salmon habitat at Unalaska Lake, Summer Bay Lake, and Morris Cove.

The goal is to estimate the size of the island's largely unmonitored fish populations. To collect that data, Dietrick is filming in a 35-millimeter format that approaches "cinema quality." 

CAFF

This week, Unalaska is hosting an international gathering of scientists, wildlife managers, and indigenous leaders — all focused on biodiversity in the circumpolar north.

It's a meeting of the Arctic Council's working group for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), currently chaired by the United States.

The group conducts habitat research, tracks native and invasive species, and encourages local engagement in environmental issues across the world's eight Arctic nations.

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.

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