Coast Guard and Partner Agencies Conduct Oil Spill Response Exercises Near Sitka, Alaska > United States Coast Guard News > Press Releases

SITKA, Alaska – Coast Guard crews worked with multiple state, tribal and local organizations April 23-25 ​​to conduct exercises to improve oil spill response in geographically sensitive areas.

The exercises included:

  • Coast Guard District 17

  • Coast Guard Sector Southeast Alaska

  • Coast Guard Air Station Sitka

  • Coast Guard Auxiliary

  • Sitka Tribe of Alaska

  • Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC)

  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game

  • Southeast Alaska Petroleum Response Organization

  • Integrity environment

  • Delta Western

These organizations worked together to respond to simulated oil spills in Chíx'i Héen Creek and Mosquito Cove in Starrigavan Bay, deploying a boom to create a 500-foot exclusion area to simulate protecting sensitive marine areas.

Crew members from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka used an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to conduct an Alaska Emergency Towing System transport demonstration.

Emergency towing systems are funded and maintained by ADEC and are pre-installed throughout Alaska to provide equipment that can be used on a disabled vessel if it requires assistance.

“Simulated training opportunities like this are beneficial for our crews to learn the importance of our role during spills,” said Lt. Lindsay Wheeler, director of emergency management and preparedness for the Southeast Alaska Sector. “Collaboration with our partner agencies is essential in order to be able to respond quickly and successfully to emergencies at sea.”

These joint exercises were conducted under an Incident Command System (ICS) structure, leveraging positions on an Incident Management Team following the creation of an Incident Action Plan.

These exercises also followed the National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program and ensured that the current Southeast Alaska Emergency Response Plan is implemented on a regular basis.

For more information about the Southeast Alaska Emergency Response Plan, geographic response strategies, or emergency towing systems, visit the Department of Environmental Conservation website:


Anna Harden

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