|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||July 12, 2001|
|Contact:||Catharine Ransom, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-454-3393
Chip Dennerlein, National Parks Conservation Association, 907-229-9761
Senator Stevens Sells Out Glacier Bay to Cruise Industry
"Senator Stevens is selling out our national parks to the cruise industry," said Kevin Collins, the National Parks Conservation Association's Acting Vice President of Conservation Policy. "His amendment sacrifices park resources and endangered species in favor of an industry that has demonstrated repeated environmental insensitivity and disregard of U.S. pollution laws. Increasing cruise ship traffic without knowledge of the impacts on the park environment or the park's humpback whale and sea lion populations could cause irreparable harm."
Thirteen states recently brought litigation against the cruise ship industry for practices that harmed the marine environment, including criminal violations involving dumping and discharge of human and chemical wastes. The State of Alaska recently launched its own major initiative, including new state legislation, after tests by the Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed that cruise ship visits have caused pollution and other negative impacts on southeast Alaska's fragile marine ecosystem.
"If the cruise ship industry wants more visits per day, they should at least accept the court-mandated mitigation measures that seek to protect the national park and its wildlife," Collins said. "Imposing major decisions on Glacier Bay's unique marine environment without a full analysis of the impact is irresponsible and dangerous."
"The very first cruise ship to reach Alaska waters this summer was cited by the Coast Guard for illegal dumping," said National Parks Conservation Association's Alaska Regional Director Chip Dennerlein. "Within a week, several other ships violated federal pollution laws. These same ships enter Glacier Bay. To force this risk on the park while restricting the Park Service's ability to minimize ship pollution is simply needless."