environment

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.

 

Melissa Good / Alaska Sea Grant

Unalaskans are used to spotting marine mammals around the island.

But lately, they're not just seeing whales or otters. They're seeing ringed seals — an Arctic species that typically lives far north of the ice-free Aleutian Islands.

Now, scientists are monitoring the unusual visitors to find out why they're here.  

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Unalaska has taken its first official step toward banning plastic bags.

On Tuesday, the City Council tasked the city manager with developing an ordinance to prohibit the flimsy, disposable bags used at grocery stores.

Councilors issued the directive unanimously after hearing from Unalaska resident Laresa Syverson.

"It’s not that a plastic bag ban is going to solve all our problems," said Syverson. "But it will help with the way we depend on plastic."

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