Opinion: If you see something, say something

Together we can fight to preserve this pristine place we live.

  • By Karen Severson
  • Tuesday, August 2, 2022 3:19pm
  • Opinion

To all boaters on the water whether for commercial or recreation, if you see cruise ship discharge of any kind report it to the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.

Summer 2022, the cruise industry is bigger than ever. They are offering incredible deals for tourists to visit for that once in a lifetime Alaskan adventure, and who can blame them.

However, the cruise industry has decades of violations and fines for illegal behavior. It is up to us to be aware and hold them accountable for illegal discharge pollution to our water ways.

The governor vetoed funding for the Ocean Ranger program in 2019. Without these highly qualified Ocean Rangers on board, acting as watchdogs, the ships are free to cut corners and dump their waste in our waters whenever and wherever they can get away with it.

Many ships use cheap bunker crude to cut costs and then flush it directly into our ocean with open loop exhaust scrubbers, negatively impacting our fish and wildlife.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Southeast Alaska started its own cruise ship monitoring program this July. The Park Service would prefer that the state program be re-established, calling it an essential component to the park’s oversight of cruise ship concessions contracts.

With the program still in state law our hope is the Legislature will vote to bring back these Ocean Rangers, to be on all ships, all of the time.

We must all be watchful to keep these mega ships from polluting our beautiful state, for the future of all Alaskans who call this place home and for those who love to visit it.

Call the National Response Center. Give them a description of what you saw, the latitude and longitude if you have it, or the close demographical area where you saw it. Also what ship you think it might have come from.

Together we can fight to preserve this pristine place we live.

• Karen Severson resides in Petersburg. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

More in Opinion

Have something to say?

Here’s how to add your voice to the conversation.

U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka and former President Donald Trump stand on stage during a July 2022 rally in Anchorage. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Tshibaka’s insincere defense of democracy

Kelly Tshibaka claims to understand why voter turnout for the 2022 general… Continue reading

(Courtesy Photo / Gwen Baluss)
Opinion: The Mendenhall Wetlands — a Juneau treasure

Juneau is very fortunate to have this rich biological resource…

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski prepares to meet officials at the Sealaska Heritage Institute during a visit to Juneau in November 2022. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau stands to benefit significantly from the 117th Congress

The last Congress was one of the best for our state in recent memory…

Opinion: Humanism and the billionaire class

Compromise is the right thing to do and they should do it.

Alexander B. Dolitsky
Opinion: Neo-Marxism is a threat to the country

In the early 1980s, I attended graduate school at Brown University. Then,… Continue reading

(Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
The problem with ‘Always Fighting’

What about “Always Thinking” or “Always Working” or just “Always Building Coalitions for Alaska.”

(Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: A million visitors isn’t enough. Here’s why

I’ve been thinking about Pat White’s recent My Turn, Is anyone else… Continue reading

The challenged truths of three elected representatives

Last Friday, the state Supreme Court affirmed that state Rep. Jennifer Armstrong,… Continue reading

Most Read