Cook Inlet


Federal oil and gas leases coming up for sale in Cook Inlet are in the same area as the new North Pacific Fisheries Management Council restrictions on commercial salmon fishing. State and federal agencies could cooperate to keep the fishery open, but the State of Alaska declined to do so.

Shooting sound into Cook Inlet

Aug 23, 2019

Seismic survey work in Lower Cook Inlet is scheduled to go forward this September.

Oil and gas company Hilcorp has announced plans for seismic mapping of about 200 square miles in the middle of Lower Cook Inlet near Homer beginning around September 10. Seismic mapping involves using soundwaves generated by a boat crossing Cook Inlet repeatedly, shooting the soundwaves to determine whether there may be oil or gas beneath Cook Inlet.

Cook Inletkeeper

Environmental groups are protesting the state's move to renew a federal permit that allows oil and gas producers to release a variety of pollutants into Cook Inlet.

This is the first time the state has issued the permit. Environmental groups say the state should move the oil and gas industry away from the practice, and those groups are also pushing back against the state raising the volume of oily wastewater producers are allowed to discharge.

Kenai man drowns in Cook Inlet

Jul 6, 2018

A Kenai man drowned in Cook Inlet after falling overboard from a commercial fishing boat on Thursday morning. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 62 year-old Anthony Walsh spent between 10-30 minutes in water north of Kodiak while the other fisherman on the boat attempted to get him aboard.

Kevin Loran of Anchorage did not immediately hear Walsh go overboard, said Alaska State Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters. She says Walsh was not wearing a life jacket.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council formed a committee Thursday to explore management options for salmon in the federal waters of Cook Inlet. The court-ordered move comes after the council lost a lawsuit in 2016 against an industry group. The lawsuit first began in 2013 after the council gave control of federal salmon fisheries in Cook Inlet to the state. Here’s NPFMC council member Glenn Merrill.

Courtesy of Davin Holen.

Last week the Trump administration proposed to drastically increase the amount of Alaska waters open for oil and gas leasing. Along with keeping Cook Inlet open, it would also make areas near Kodiak and the Gulf of Alaska available for drilling, both of which are currently closed. Yet, it’s unclear if companies will be interested in drilling there even if the plan is approved. Still, the move worries local environmentalists and fishermen.

Are razor clams making a comeback in Cook Inlet?

Sep 26, 2017
Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Clam diggers from the Kenai River to the Homer Spit hoping for the return of razor clams were sorely disappointed this summer. This year was the third season in a row the Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued an emergency order closing popular razor clam fisheries, but there is a tiny glimmer of hope the tasty morsels are making a comeback.

Cook Inletkeeper

Hilcorp operation managers were in Kenai Friday to speak at an Alliance luncheon. Cook Inlet Offshore Operations Manager Stan Golis updated the pro-oil industry group on recent oil and gas leaks. 

Golis said repairs to a gas pipeline that supplies heat and power to two oil platforms should be complete. That leak was initially stopped in April, but the fix was only temporary. Golis said divers were set to finish installing a permanent clamp Friday morning.

Inlet Keeper

A Cook Inlet Health Check
Guests: Angela Doroff from the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Bob Shavelson from Inlet Keeper.

No Extension for Lease Sale Comment Period

Sep 2, 2016
Image courtesy of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management formally rejected requests to extend the public comment period on the proposed Cook Inlet lease sale on Thursday.

Bob Shavelson is the Executive Director of Cook Inletkeeper. He says that the timing of the public comment period excluded many Kenai Peninsula residents who were traveling or fishing over the summer.

Bill Would Remove Cook Inlet Tax Credits

Jun 13, 2016
Photo KBBI Database

Since the mid-2000s, oil and gas activity in Cook Inlet stood to benefit from lucrative tax credits and incentives meant to boost exploration and development, and stabilize the natural gas supply. If Gov. Walker signs the Legislature’s compromise on oil and gas tax reform, those credits will come to an end.

  The Alaska Ocean Observing System recently rolled out a new information hub that’s all about beluga whales. The Cook Inlet Beluga Ecosystem Portal is a one-stop shop for beluga data that its creators hope will help scientists and the public make more informed decisions in the future.

From aerial views of Alaska’s coastline to environmental data to social statistics, the new beluga ecosystem portal has a lot of information.