environment

NASA

 

Scientists found an enriched uranium particle over the Aleutian Islands and don’t know where it came from. In 20 years of aerial surveys, it’s the first time researchers have detected a particle like this. It’s not naturally occurring uranium – it’s the kind that might be found in nuclear bombs or fuel.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

Unalaskans know the island’s wind is strong — it can blow over 100 miles per hour.

Back in 2005, the city council funded a study to see if that wind could be used for power generation. The former city manager, Nancy Peterson, said that they basically concluded that it wasn’t possible because there was no technology strong enough to withstand Unalaska’s wind.

ZOË SOBEL/KUCB

 

The City of Unalaska will pay $36,000 to help sink a boat that’s already on the ocean floor.

The state scuttled the F/V Akutan last month with help from the U.S. Coast Guard, but they moved forward before collecting funds from the city. That’s left councilors debating whether they should chip in at all. The final vote was almost unanimous.

Councilor James Fitch was all for it.

“We are obligated to pay this because the job has already been done,” Fitch said.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

 

Some Unalaskans want the city to ban single use plastic bags. Twenty-five residents met last week to strategize on how best to make their case to the city.

Mary Heimes says for a community that relies on the ocean, eliminating the bags should be a no brainer.

“You know we pull a lot of money out of the ocean in this community and we have a social responsibility to take care of the environment,” Heimes said.

ZOË SOBEL/KUCB

 

Last month, the state sunk an abandoned boat that has plagued western Alaska for months -- but it did so before securing a funding contribution from Unalaska. 

The City Council has debated whether to help pay for the F/V Akutan’s removal all year. Many councilors worry about setting a precedent that could encourage other mariners to abandon vessels near town. But others say the city needs to contribute because the Akutan posed environmental risks to the community.

 

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