Bering Strait Response ToolKarla Dutton, Defenders of Wildlife
Statement Objective: Create a framework and interface for a Bering Strait Response Tool (BSRT). The BSRT will be a key community spill preparedness and response engagement tool that will be housed in ARCTIC-ERMA. The BRST will serve as a visual aid for Defender’ Arctic Marina Mammal Spill Response Synthesis (Synthesis) that our organization is now developing which will consist of spill response plans, gap analysis, reports, and recommendations that contain an Arctic marine mammal focus from the State of Alaska and various land and wildlife agencies operating in Alaska.
OSRI is supporting the creation of the framework and interface for a BSRT, the development of the new shapefiles listed in section Methods to be employed and is supporting the sharing of those new data files with Alaska Ocean Observing Systems (AOOS) and Arctic Environmental Response Management Application (ARCTIC ERMA).
The BSRT and synthesis will inform the development of an Arctic Marine Mammal Spill 101 training curriculum. The Marine Mammal Spill 101 training curriculum will be developed in collaboration with relevant spill response and training agencies including the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the US Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Bering Strait tribal organizations including KAWAREK. It will not replace or duplicate existing mandated spill response training or procedures. It is envisioned by Defenders and those entities we will partner with, to complement existing state and federal mandated spill response training and procedures. It will have a focus on increasing the engagement of at-risk Bering Strait communities and will have an emphasis on potentially impacted species of Arctic marine wildlife including polar bears, Pacific walrus, ice dependant seals, cetaceans, and coastal birds. The BSRT is a realistic first step in bridging the gap between federal and state spill response agencies and at-risk NW Arctic Alaska communities by providing an easily accessible two-way (agency and community) pathway for critical marine mammal and habitat data sharing. The BSRT, Synthesis and Marine Spill 101 Curriculum frame Defenders’ multi-year Arctic Marine Mammal Spill Response work.