Assignment: Alaska - Citizen Involvement

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 7:46am

VALDEZ, Ak (NBC33) - Since the Exxon Valdez oil spill, citizens near Prince WIlliam Sound decided to whatever they could to prevent another devestating spill in their waters.

The Regional Citizen's Advisory Council is a group of people who call Alaska home.  Their job is to make sure another Exxon Valdez doesn't happen.    They're not regulators or legislators - they're people who saw the effects of the spill and use that energy to make changes.

Since the Crisis on the Coast - there have been calls to form a Regional Citizen's Advisory Council in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mark Swanson is Executive Director of the organization in Valdez, Alaska.  He says a Citizen's Advisory Council will help "greatly" in the Gulf, but he adds it's an uphill battle.   He says getting all the companies, and all the people involved together, and giving everyone an equal voice would be difficult.   But he says it's critical to get over that hump - and form the council.

NBC33 continues the special series of reports, Assignment:Alaska Thursday on NBC33 News at 10:00  Andrew Capasso looks at the tourism industry in Alaska - and how big of a hit it took after the spill.    He'll find out how long it took to bounce back, and what those directly impacted say we can do here to make sure the tourists keep coming.

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