Nonprofit Seeks Volunteers For Massive Marine Debris Removal

debris_yard_itn.jpgIsland Trails Network debris yard. Photo by Tom Pogson

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A local nonprofit is calling for volunteers to help move marine debris onto a barge that will ship the waste out of town.

Island Trails Network will transfer 180,000 pounds of marine debris from its storage yard in the Buskin River valley onto a barge, which will carry it to Washington for recycling.

The efforts fall within a larger project through the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and other organizations to remove debris from shorelines along the state and Canada. Island Trails Network Director of Education, Outreach, and Marine Programs, Tom Pogson, says as far as they know, the barge and accompanying vessel is set to arrive in Kodiak on July 16.

“This effort is going to involve a large tug and a very large barge that has a deck roughly 300 feet by 135 feet and it’s going to be loaded with all the marine debris from Kodiak all the way to Shuyak island,” says Pogson. “There may be something in excess of 3,000 cubic yard bags, something on the order of 600 thousand pounds of debris.”

Pogson says the debris in the yard has been building up since summer 2013. He says the removal will take place in the days preceding the barge’s arrival starting Saturday, and volunteers can come in for as long as they like, although Pogson asks for at least a few hours commitment.

“What we need is people to help re-bag debris, we need to tie bags together in clusters, so it could be easy to lift them up, and we probably need to do some other consolidating so that on the day the barge is here, we can have heavy equipment and dump trucks that are going to receive the debris and drive onto the barge and drop it off,” says Pogson.

For older teens and adults who want to get involved, contact Pogson at the Island Trails Network Facebook page and send your name, email address, and phone number in a message. Or email Pogson at

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