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Community preparation and response to the Exxon oil spill in Kodiak, Alaska

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Material Information

Title:
Community preparation and response to the Exxon oil spill in Kodiak, Alaska
Series Title:
Quick response research report ;
Physical Description:
22, 4 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Mason, Rachel
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
Publisher:
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado
Place of Publication:
Boulder, Colo
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Alaska, 1989   ( lcsh )
Oil spills -- Social aspects -- Alaska   ( lcsh )
Emergency management -- Public opinion -- Alaska -- Kodiak Region   ( lcsh )
Disaster relief -- Public opinion -- Alaska -- Kodiak Region   ( lcsh )
Public opinion -- Alaska -- Kodiak Region   ( lcsh )
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 22).
Additional Physical Form:
Also issued online as part of a joint project with the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) Research Library’s disaster mental health initiative.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Rachel Mason.
General Note:
Cover title.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001985167
oclc - 39104759
usfldc doi - F57-00048
usfldc handle - f57.48
System ID:
SFS0001129:00001


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COMMUNITY PREPARATIONANDRESPONSETOTHEEXXONOILSPILL IN KODIAK,ALASKAByRachelMason .... QUICK RESPONSERESEARCHREPORT #36 This publication is part of the Hazards Research&Applications Information ongoing Quick Response Research Report Series. http:ltwww.colorado.edu/hazardsTheviewsexpressedinthisreportarethoseoftheauthorsandnotnecessarilythoseoftheNaturalHazardsCenterortheUniversityofColorado.

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FINAL REPORT:COMMUNITYPREPARATIONANDRESPONSETOTHEEXXONOILSPILLINKODIAK,ALASKARachelMasonKodiak,AlaskaAstudyofcommunitydisasterpreparationandresponse tothe March24ExxonValdezoilspillwasundertakenbetweenMay22andJune30,1989in the KodiakIslandareaofsouthcentralAlaska.Theresearchquestionswere:1)HowdoKodiakarearesidentsperceive the effectivenessofdisasterpreparationefforts?2)Howhas the disasteraffected"normal"life?3) What is the perceivedrelationshipbetween"local"and"outside"controlofresponseactivities?4) What areideasabout the relationshipofthedisastertopre-existinginter-orintra-communityconflicts?5)Howis the disasterexplainedandwhoisblamedforit?ThepopulationoftheKodiakIslandBorough,includingresidentsof thetown ofKodiak,villageresidents,andpersonswholiveinisolatedoutlyingareas,isabout15,500.ThecityofKodiakhasapopulationof6774,about 12% NativeAlaskanand12%AsianorPacificIslander.Thefishingeconomyofthiscommunityishighlyseasonaland the populationnormallyswellsinthesummer withtransient fishermenandprocessingworkers.ThepopulationsofsixAlaskaNativevillagesin the arearangefrom82to322,allof them over 70%Native.'1 Residentsofthesevillagesareinvolvedin both subsistenceandcommercialfishing.Inaddition to comparing the way that KodiakareavillageandKodiakcityresidentsresponded tothe oilspill,Ialsosought to assesstheeffectof the oilspillresponseandcleanupeffortsoncommercialfishermen'soccupational identity, particularly that ofsalmonfishermenwhoselivelihoodwas most affectedby the oilspill.Duringtheresearchperiod, most of the KodiakIslandcoastlinewasimpactedbyoil.While atthe beginningoftheresearchtherewasoilonlyon the northand west sidesoftheisland,bytheendcleanupcrewswereworkinginallKodiakareavillagesandon the roadsystemnear thetown ofKodiak.Thisofferedanopportunity to observe both preparationforoilcleanupand the cleanupeffortitself.

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2METHODOLOGYANDSAMPLECHARACTERISTICS Short field visits weremade tothe villagesofLarsenBay,Karluk,Ouzinkie, Port Lions,andAkhiok,allofwhichwere actively involvedinoilresponse atthetime of thevisit. ThevillageofOldHarborwas not included, attherequest ofacommunitymember.Ineachof the villages visited, I talkedwith response team leaders(whowerealso the VillagePublicSafetyOfficers,exceptinAkhiok),city, tribal counciland/or Native corporationofficials,healthaides, Coast Guardmonitors,beachcleanupandskiff monitor workers,and10-15membersof the public.Iwasalsoable to observe the beachcleanupworkinevery locationvisitedexceptPort LionsandAkhiok.InKodiak,I attended publicoilspillmeetingsheldthree times weeklyby the EmergencyResponseServicescommittee,whosemembersincluded the Kodiak city mayor, thecity manager,theboroughmayor,and the CoastGuardcommander.RepresentativesofExxonandofseveral state andfederalagencies(AlaskaDepartmentsofFishandGame,FishandWildlife,andEnvironmentalConservation;NationalOceanicandAtmosphericAdministration, National ParkService)were presentat allmeetings.I talked to thecommittee officials,employeesofExxonandVeco(the emploYment corporation contracted byExxon to handlecleanupoperations),a mentalhealthcenter administrator,KodiakArea Native Associationpersonnel,apoliceofficer,arepresentativeof the Filipino-Americanassociationwhohadworkedwithprocessors toobtain claimsfromExxon,andapproximately50communitymembers,23ofwhomwereasked to respond to a short interview(see attached) For the face-to-faceinterviews,respondentswereinitiallychosenon the basisofinvolvementin the oilspillresponse(e.g., frequentparticipation inpublicoilspillmeetings),andthenbya"snowballing"techniqueinwhichrespondentswereaskedtonameothers that shouldbeinterviewed.Allwereeitherfishermen(onewas retired) ormembersoffishingfamilies.Ninerespondentsweremale,14 female;there were3 Natives and20non-Natives.Asurveyasking the same15open-endedquestionsas those presentedinface-to-faceinterviewswasmailed to arandomsampleof110 (10%) ofgearlicenseholdersinKodiakandKodiakareavillages.Themailedsurveywas intendedtoidentify orcounterresearcherbiasinthechoiceofpersonsinterviewed.However,while the responsesin the 14mailsurveysreturnedarequitecomparable to responsesacquiredininterviews, this couldsimply indicatethat thepeople most engagedincommunityactionwerethe most likely to completeand returnthe questionnaire.Since the mailresponseswereanonYmous, it wasusuallyimpossible totell iftherespondentsweremaleorfemale,Nativeornon-Native.However,fourof the mailsurveyswerepostmarkedin

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3RESPONSESTORESEARCHQUESTIONS1)In the mailandface-to-facesurveys,aswellasininformalconversations, the questionsinvolvingdisasterpreparationwere: "What otherdisastershaveaffectedthiscommunityin the past?Howdotheycomparewith the oilspill? What kindofdisasterpreparationwasinplaceinthiscommunitybefore the oilspillhappened?Wasthishelpfulindealingwith the presentsituation?" What otherdisastershaveaffectedthiscommunityin the past?Howdotheycomparewith the oilspill?Mailsurvey(N=14):1964earthquake/tsunami:121912Katmaieruption:2Forestfire:11982botulismscare:1Demiseofkingcrabfishery:1Factorytrawlers:1Mismanagementoffisheries:1MotherNature'swinters:1Thisis not adisaster:1Naturaldisasterisdifferent:2Nonecompare to this:1Comments:"Tome this is not adisaster yet andvery reluctantthatit willbecomeadisaster"(PortLions)Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):1964earthquake/tsunami:131912Katmaieruption:3WorldWar,II/military:31982botulismscare:1Demiseofkingcrabfishery:2Bottomfishing:1TerrorLakedamconstruction:1Naturaldisasterisdifferent:5Nonecompare to this:3Comments:"Naturaldisasterisa lot differentfromaman-madedisasterHere the guywhodid it throws salt in the wound.YoucouldrelateChernobyl toit, howthosepeople must feel."

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4"Youcanbephilosophicaboutfishing.Thefishweren'tthere.Butthis--youcan'tsay,that'sthelumps.Atsunamiwouldbeeasiertodealwith.It'sgottenoverwith,youbuildbackup."Whatkindofdisasterpreparationwasinplaceinthiscommunitybeforetheoilspillhappened?Mailsurvey(N=14):Forearthquakes/naturaldisaster:5Coastguard/maritimeemergencies:2Noneforoil:1None:4Don'tknow:3 Noanswer:1Comments:"IknowtherewasaplanbutI'm not familiarwithit."Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):Forearthquakes/naturaldisaster:8Maritimeemergencies:1EmergencyServicesCouncil:3Fish&Gameknowledge:1None/weweren'tprepared:4 Noanswer:6Comments:"Therewasverygoodgovernmentinfrastructureinplacetodealwithnaturaldisaster--Iossoflife,bloodandguts.Therewasnopreparationforoilspillsofthismagnitude.""Thepublicisnotaware.Needfourtimestheknowledge."Wasthishelpfulindealingwiththepresentsituation?Mailsurvey(N=14):Definitely:2Supposeso:2Notreally:2Definitelynot:2Don'tknow:3

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5Notapplicable:1Noanswer:2Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):Definitely:2Supposeso:2Notreally:6Definitelynot:3EmergencyServicesCouncilhelpful:3Notapplicable:1 Noanswer:8Comments:"Thiswasdifferentfromatsunami,becauseyouhavetoprotect,youhavetoprioritize.Differentbecausemysterious.""Peopleherearegoalorientedandusedtosolvingbigproblems.Exxonhasstifledthiswiththeirbureaucracy."Kodiak'sEmergencyServicesCouncilwasorganizedafterthe1964earthquakeandtsunamitodealwithdisastersaffectingthecommunity,butbefore1989ithadneverconfrontedamajornaturalorman-madedisaster.InthepastfewyearsinKodiak,therehavebeenseveral"falsealarms"oftsunami,includingevacuationsinMay1986andNovember1987."Mockdisasters"arealsoconductedonaregularbasis.Kodiak'smayorstatedatapublicmeetingonMay 1thatthistown,incomparisonwithValdez,Cordova,andSeward,hasbeenluckytohavehadtheluxuryoftimeanddistancefromthespill,alongwithhavingemergencycoordinationfortsunamisinplaceandtheexperiencesofpasttsunamievacuations.Themajorityofrespondentsmentionedthe1964GoodFridayearthquakeandtsunamiasadisasteraffectingtheircommunityinthepast,butmanythoughtitwashardtocomparewiththepresentsituationbecausetheoilspillinvolveslong-termimpact,thepossibilityoftoxiccontamination,anddealingwithalargecorporation.WhilecityofficialsinterviewedfelttheEmergencyServicesCouncilhadbeenausefulorganizationtodealwiththepresentcrisis,thepublicinKodiakandinvillageswasnotveryfamiliarwiththedisasterplanning,nordidtheythinkithadbeenveryusefulindealingwithoil.Kodiakresidentsknewtherewassomethinginplaceforearthquakesandtsunamis;threeofthefaceto-facesurveyrespondentsmentionedtheEmergencyServicesCouncil.Villageresidentswerelessfamiliarwithdisasterpreparationefforts;mostpeopleItalkedtowereunawareofanydisasterpreparationcommitteewithintheircommunityanddidnot

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6believeKodiak'sEmergencyServicesCouncilprovidedservicesthatwouldbehelpfultothem.Inadditiontopreparingandimplementingplansforemergencyservicesindisaster,thepurposeoftheEmergencyServicesCouncilisto"provideanorganizationforthecoordinationofemergencyservicesfunctionswithallpublicagencies,affectedprivatepersons,corporations,andorganizations"(KodiakIslandBoroughCharter2.41).Tothisend,theCouncilheldpublicoilspillmeetingsthroughoutthesummer.ThementalhealthprofessionalinterviewedthoughtthatholdingfrequentpublicmeetingswasthebestthingthattheCouncilcouldhavedoneforcommunitymoraleandcommunication.Forthemostpart,communitymembersagreed,buttherewasfrustrationatthewaythemeetingswereconducted,andvillagerswereusuallyunabletoparticipateintheKodiakmeetings.SaarinenandMcPherson(1981)madeastudyinKodiakappraisingtheu.S.CoastGuard'swarningsysteminregardtoapotentiallandslide.Theystated:InKodiak,thepercentageofthepopulationwithdirectnaturaldisasterexperienceismuchhigherthanthenationalnorm.This,andtheirappreciationoftherisksoffishingAlaskanwatersandlivinginanisolatedcommunity,hasmadethemlessfearfulofnaturaldisastersandmorewillingtoacceptandlivewiththeexcessesofnature.Accordingly,thepossibilityofalandslideonPillarMountainisnotasfrighteningasitmightbetoothercommunities.Thisinpartexplainsthepublic'sreluctancetoconsiderPillarMountainaseriousthreat.(p.45)TheauthorsthoughtonereasonpeopleinKodiakwerehostiletotheideaofhazardnotificationwasthattheyfeltitthreatenedtheirlivelihood(72),andthatthisattitudeengendered"intensereactionsanddistrustofscientistsinanemotionally-chargedpoliticalatmosphere"(73).WhilefishermenandothersinKodiakareaccustomedtothepossibilityoffishingdisasters,earthquakes,andtsunami,theoilspillwasthoughttobequalitativelydifferent.DistrustofscientistsandgovernmentagencieswasparticularlystronginKodiakvillages.Forexample,invillageswhereseafoodhadbeensentawayfortestingforoilcontaminationbystateagenciesandbyafirmcontractedbyExxon,therewaseitherfrustrationatnotgettingbackanyresults,ordisbeliefofthoseresultsthatwerereported.

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72)Informationontherelationshipofthedisasterto"normal"lifewassoughtinthequestions:"Howhastheoilspillalreadyaffectedyourlife?Howdoyouthinkitwillaffectyourlife in thefuture?"Howhastheoilspillalreadyaffectedyourlife?Hail survey (N=14):Fishinglivelihoodaffected:9Addedstress:2Uncertainty:4Subsistencelifestylethreatened:1(OldHarbor)Comments:"basicallyithaschangedourlifestylefromoneofindependencetooneofdependence.Wearenowdependentonthewhimsandfeelatthemercyofamajoroilcompany.Whenyouareabletofishyouaredependingonyourownskillsandinitiativeforyourlivelihood.Changesyourself-image."Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):Fishinglivelihoodaffected:9Addedstress:9Uncertainty:3Disruptedfamily/marriagerelations:4Fearofcontaminationofsubsistencefoods:3 Nochangeatall:1Comments:"People'sattitudestowardeachotherhavebecomeharderandcalloused,colder,theopinionaboutoutsidershaschangedsignificantly.""IamdesperatelysadthatIcan'tfishsalmon.thisseasonIwasfullofanticipation.""Can'tgetanymoreclamstillthey'retested,gumboots,orseaurchins.Concernedaboutfoodanimalslikedeerthateatkelp,andseals.It'sallcontaminated."(LarsenBay)"Insecurity,stress,beingscaredaboutyourexistencebecauseit'syourmainincome.Bothofourmainincomeissalmonfishing."

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8Howdoyouthinkitwillaffectyourlifeinthefuture?Hailsurvey(N=14):Fishinglivelihoodwillbeaffected:6Subsistencelifestylewillbeaffected:1(PortLions)Don'tknow:3Comments:"Weareatownsurroundedbywater.Wemakeourlivingofftheocean.Itwillaffectusineveryway."Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):Fishinglivelihoodand/orfishpriceswillbeaffected:10Subsistencelifestylewillbeaffected:1Economicimpactonentirecommunity:3Environmentwillbeimpacted:5Familylifewillbeaffected:3Don'tknow:2Comments:"IwillpostponemythinkingaboutbuyingasubsistencesiteIt'spassedmymindtothinkabout,doIwanttobeherethenexttenyears?Alotofitisrelatedtomychildren."ParticularlyforNativevillageresidents,butforsomenonNativesaswell,therewasseriousconcernaboutthetoxiceffectofoilonsubsistencefoodssuchasfishandshellfish.A womaninOuzinkiesaid,"Iguesswe'llallhavetobecomecowboysandeatranchfood!Youhavetogetitsomewhere!"OthersinOuzinkiementionedthattheycouldn'tusekelpforfertilizer,astheynormallydo,andthattheywerereluctanttoeatdeerthisyearbecausetheymighthaveeatenoilykelp.Otherfearsabouttoxicityincludedaconcernaboutincreaseofcancerrates.Uncertaintyaboutthefuturewasexpressedinstatementssuchas"Sure,we'llhavemoneyfromExxonforawhile,butwherewillthatgetuslater?"TwoNativerespondentsstatedthatiftheoilspilldestroyedthesubsistencelifestyle,itwouldtakeawaytheonlythingthatisleftoftraditionalculture.Becauseallthesurveyrespondentswereeithercommercialfishermenorspousesoffishermen,itisnotsurprisingthatlossorthreatenedlossoffishinglivelihoodwasfrequentlymentionedasanegativeeffectoftheoilspill.Respondentsfromthetown

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9ofKodiakwerealsolikely tomention increased mentalstress and emotional upheavalbecauseof theuncertaintyaboutwhetherthere wouldbeasalmonseason. Until July,salmonfishermen still hoped thatthere wouldbeanopening,and theDepartment ofFish&Game continued 96-hour noticesuntilthen. Increasedfamilyand maritalstress wasperceivedasa result offishing uncertainty. 3) Questions dealing with localversus outsidecontrol of the oilresponseandcleanupwere: "What isyouropinionofhow the oilresponseandcleanupisbeinghandled? What doyou think ofhow Exxonishandling the response? What doyou think ofhow the Kodiakcity/borough government ishandling the response?Howdoyou rate yourcommunity'sinvolvementinresponding tothe oilspill? Whatother agenciesorindividualsdoyou think shouldbeinvolved that are not involved? What should they bedoing?Whodoyou think shouldbeinchargeofhandling thedisaster responseinyour community?What isyouropinionofhow the oilspillisbeinghandled?Mailsurvey(N=14):Disorganized:3Slow:4Someare trying: 2 Suspect manipulation:2 Comments: "A lot of theinnocent orsmallfishing operations havebeen forgotten oroverlooked."Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):Disorganized:4Slow(needmore action,reaction ispoor):7Someare trying: 6 Suspect manipulation(orpublic relations only):5Too much politics: 2 Don'tunderstand who'sincharge:1 Comments: " too slow.Is itthe problemofbureaucracy,ofVeco?.Too much politics iscausing confrontation, moneyisslowingusdown.""I don't fully understand whoisincharge--Exxon,Fish&Game,Veco,DEC--andif it isbeingdone satisfactorily or not."

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10 What doyou think ofhow Exxonishandling the response?Mailsurvey(N=14):Slow, reluctant: 5Buyingpeopleoffwithmoney:3Arrogance,lackofcompassion:3Theyhave control overus:2 CODDl1ents: "Theyhave control byusing their moneyandkeepingpeopleconfused, notlettingthe community get organized."Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):Good: 2 Incompetent: 5Buyingpeopleoff with money:2Arrogance,lackofcompassion,ponderous:2 Not really interested incleaningup:7 It's apublicrelationsdeal:3Manipulating:5 Comments:"Probably thebest way they can." "It's sohard to deal with abigcorporation""Exxon'smoralambivalencescaresme tothe core." What doyou think ofhow the Kodiakcity/boroughgovernmentishandling the response?Mailsurvey(N=14):Good/excellent:4They're trying: 6Nopower against Exxon:2 Not good:1(OldHarbor) Not familiar withit: 1 Comments:"Their intentions weregooduntilthey turned itallover to Exxon."

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11"Generallylocalgovernmentresponsesareinadequate to dealwithspillsthislarge."Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):Good/excellent:4 trying:5OK:2 Not good:4NopoweragainstExxon:2EmergencyServicesCouncilisgood/they'retrying:3Boroughdoing better thancity:4 Too muchpolitics:4Don'tknow/haven'tpaidattention:3 Comments:"Don'tknow--haven'theardfromthem."(LarsenBay)"Theirresponsewas pretty consistent,theycatered to specialinterestgroupsTheyweredealingwithwhoevermade the mostnoise."Howdoyourateyourcommunity'sinvolvementinresponding tothe oilspill?Mailsurvey(N=14):Good/excellent:9Peoplevolunteered to workforfree:3(1LarsenBay)Mixed:1 Comments:"Exactlyasonewouldexpect--allconcerned;manyinvolved;a lot look the otherway; averyfewmerelylook atit asalazyperson'swindfall.""Thepoorpeoplearenaiveandtrusting." "100%." (OldHarbor)Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):Good/excellent:5Fair:2Poor:7Mixed:10Financialgreedpreventsunity:5

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12 Commen1:s: "EarlyonIheard, i1:'s afishermen'sproblem.""Kodiakfisherpeopleareindependen1:,self-relian1:,ego 1:is1:ical folks,andin 1:hissi1:ua1:ion I 1:hink1:hosequali1:ies havehindered 1:heir organiza1:ion." Wha1:o1:her agenciesorindividualsdoyou 1:hink shouldbeinvolved 1:ha1: are no1: involved? Wha1: should 1:hey bedoing?Mailsurvey(N=14):Federalgovernmen1::3 S1:a1:e governmen1::2Exxonrepsinvillages/o1:herExxonreps:2 Coas1: Guard:1Fish&Game: 1 Na1:ive corpora1:ions:1Fishing indus1:ry: 1Enough/1:oomanyagenciesalready:2 Commen1:s: "I 1:hink1:here areenoughagenciesinvolved.Too manyoverlapping'jobsbeingperformedalready."Face-1:o-facesurvey(N=23):Federalgovernmen1::4 S1:a1:e governmen1::4Exxonrepsinvillages:1(LarsenBay)Armedforces:1Fish&Game: 1 Na1:ives, Filipinos,women: 1 Women'sResource Cen1:er: 2KodiakCouncilonAlcoholism:11Fishermen:5Seiner flee1:: 3Localconcerned ci1:izens: 3 Commen1:s: "I don'1: know--all 1:he agencies 1:ha1: coulddo some1:hing really 1:ried." "I s1:ill1:hink if 1:hey had le1: 1:he seiner flee1: loose i1: wouldhavebeenreallysuccessful.Thennoagencieswouldbeinvolved. 11: wouldbe na1:uralcompe1:i1:ion, likefishing."

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13Whodoyouthinkshouldbeinchargeofhandlingthedisasterresponseinyourcommunity?Mailsurvey(N=14):Localpeople:5Taskforceofregularindividuals:2NotExxon:2SomeoneoverExxon:1Federalgovernment:1State:1Borough/city:2Fishermen:1Comments:"OurVPSO[VillagePublicSafetyOfficer]isinchargeandisdoingasuperiorjob.Thereisnobetterchoice."(LarsenBay) "It shouldbesomeoneoutsideoflocalgovernment.Anindependentparty.""Localpeoplefamiliarwiththeareabutwithhelpfromagenciesandcompanieswithequipmentandknow-how."Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):Localpeople:5Taskforceoflocalindividuals:6Taskforceofagencies:1NotExxon:1Exxonrepinourvillage:1(LarsenBay)State:1CoastGuard:2Borough/city:8EmergencyServicesCouncil:3Fishermen:2Natives:2Comments:"Anentityrepresentingabroadspectrum,withnopossibilityofpersonalgain.""Thewomen,somebodyfromtheWomen'sResourceCenter.Seniorcitizens.Natives,processors,fishermen.Thereshouldbearepresentativeofeverygroupinvolved.OneortwocounselorsfromMentalHealth.Averyobjectivemonitor,likealocaljudge."

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14"TheEmergencyServicesCouncilneeds to havea little more teethto them,abiggerstickorwhatever."Thequestionabout the way the cleanupwashandledreceivedanarrayofresponses, most expressingfrustration withthe slowspeedand.disorganizationof the effort.Therewereseveralsuggestions thatthe cleanupwas not beingdirectedbypersons with localknowledge:"AllExxonknowshow to dois write checks."EspeciallyinKodiakvillages,therewerecomplaintsofaparadeofvisitingoutside"experts"fromvariousagenciesand the highturnoverofExxonrepresentatives.Whileseveralpeoplementioned thatthey appreciatedExxon'scooperation withthe DepartmentofFish&Game to makesurekeycommercialandsubsistenceareaswere protected fromoil,onepersoninOuzinkie told me thatthey had protectedthe wrongareas.Inanswers tothe questionconcerningExxon'shandlingof the si tuation, Kodiakresidentswerelikely to thinkproblemsinExxon'shandlingof the cleanupwerecalculatedrather than basedonincompetence. "It wasaPRdeal,"wasatypicalcomment.In the villages,Iheardaboutspecificproblems:InLarsenBayandKarluk, they werehavingahard timegetting materialsandsupplies; atthetime Ivisited Port Lions,therewasa glut ofmaterialsandsuppliesforbeachcleanup, but cleanuphad notyet beenauthorized.EspeciallyinOuzinkie,therewasastrongdesireformorelocalboats to behiredforcharters.Localhireforbeachcleanupworkwasalsoofgreatconcern, both inKodiakandinvillages.Therewererumors,deniedbyVecorepresentatives, that VecoworkcrewswerecomposedmainlyofnonAlaskans.TwoVecoemployees told me that Vecohigher-ups wantedto workin the interestsofKodiakareaorAlaskanresidents butthat theirhandswere tied byExxon.Whilethereweremanycomplaintsaboutfavoritisminhiringpractices both inKodiakandinvillages,theseterided to bedirected at localpeopleemployedbyExxon,Vecoorotheragencies,rather thanat outsiders.SomecommunitymembersinKodiakusedmilitaryimages to describe the summer'sevents:Kodiakwas"undersiege"or"underforeignoccupation"byExxonorVeco.Suchimagerywassupportedby the appearanceofan"ExxonCommandCenter" with uniformedguards, the presenceofuniformedpersonnelfrom the CoastGuardandU.SParkService at oilspillmeetings,and the regularreportsofwildlifebodycountsand the activitiesofcleanupcrewsonallfronts.Therewasamixedresponse tothe questionofhow thecity andboroughweredoing.Therewereafewsuspicions that localpoliticianswere out forpoliticalorpersonaladvantage.SeveralKodiakresidentscommented thatit wasamistakeora"sell-out"

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15forlocalofficials toturn controlof the cleanupover to Exxon.Villagemayorsand other officialsweresometimesespeciallyisolatedfromcontrolover the cleanup,sincecommunicationfromKodiakconcerning the cleanupcamethrough the designatedresponse team leader.Manyvillageresidentsthought there shouldbemoresupportandconcernforthevillagesfrom the Kodiak city andboroughandfrom the KodiakAreaNativeOrganization.Mostmailrespondentssaidcommunityinvolvementwaseitherexcellentorgood,with three of them commentingfavorablyaboutvolunteerefforts.Fiveof the face-to-facerespondentsindicatedthatfinancialgreedwasahindrance to positivecommunityinvolvement.SomepeopleItalkedtointerpreted"communityinvolvement"tomeanvolunteerworkasopposedtoworkingformoney.However,severalvillagersinLarsenBaycommentedonthebenefitsofmanypeoplegettingjobs,hencegettinginvolved.In that community,evensomenottechnicallyhiredbyVecowere getting moneybybabysittingforchildrenofcleanupworkers.However,especiallyinLarsenBay,Akhiok,andOuzinkie, but alsoinothervillages, there wasaproblemwithcityorNativeassociationemployeesleaving their regularjobstoworkforlucrativeVecowages.Thereweremanydifferentresponsestothequestionofwhoshouldbeinvolved that was not presentlyinvolved.Whilemailrespondentsusuallymentioned state, federal,orNativeagencies,theface-to-facerespondentsweremorelikelytomentioncategoriesofpersons,e.g.fishermen,Natives,orwomen.Thequestionofwhoshouldbeinchargealsobroughtawidevarietyofresponses,althoughalargenumberof both Kodiakandvillageresidents thoughtthat someone with localknowledgeshouldhavecontrol.4)Questionsdealingwiththerelationshipofthedisastertopre-existinginter-andintra-communityconflictswere:"Whatproblemshavecomeupin the communityasaresultof the oilspill?Haveanyproblemsbeenresolvedasaresultoftheoilspill?Doyouseeanygoodthingscoming out ofthissituation?"Whatproblemshavecomeupinthecommunityasaresultoftheoilspill?Mailsurvey(N=14):Economicdislocation:6Fearofcontaminationofsubsistencefoods:2(OldHarbor,LarsenBay)Uncertaintyaboutfishingfuture:2Socialproblems:1Racial/ethnicstrife:1

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16 Fighting over charters andmoney:2 Strain ofdealing with Exxon:1 Comments: "It seems the oilspillhasovershadowedeverythingelseinourcommunity.""Fear,greed,dissention.""Economicdislocations. Hysteria overunknownspilleffects.""Peopleareafraid toeatthe seafoodoff the beaches"(LarsenBay)Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):Economicdislocation:10Fearof contamination ofsubsistencefoods:1 Uncertaintyabout fishingfuture:2Socialproblems:9Lackof attentionto ongoingproblems:1Racial/ethnic strife: 1Divisionoffishing fleet/community: 10 Fighting over charters andmoney:10Politicalconflict:2Suicides:3 Comments:"Peoplearguingamongthemselves. That individualism that isin thenature of this community.""Thedissention that gold-rush type moneydoes to a communi ty ""Likeafarmingcommunity that has towatchtheir cropsdiein the field.Onlyfishingandfarmingcommunitiesunder standthis.It'snot 9 to 5,you'redrivenby what you wantto do."Haveanyproblemsbeenresolvedasa result of the oilspill?Doyouseeanygood things coming out of thissituation? Mailsurvey(N=14):Noneorvery little: 7Financialbenefits:2 Mademe evaluate myself:1Peopleworking together: 1

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17Awarenessofenvironment:3 Better preparedfor future spills:3 Comments: "Much better pendinglegislation.Toobad it always takes a disastertospotlight aweakness."Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):Noneorvery little: 7Financial benefits: 3Mademe evaluate myself:2Peopleworking together: 8Awarenessofenvironment:3 Better preparedfor future spills:5 Better understandingofcorporations:2 Comments:"It's good to beknocked out of this idealisticheadIhave.""I've met comrades-in-arms outside of the fishingcommunity.""Peoplelikeseinersand setnetters are tryingto band together now,peoplewhoalwayshaveconflicts."ThedispensationofExxonmoneywas the causeofmanyof the problemsmentioned.Therewasdivision between "havesandhave nots,"thedisaster providingfinancialgain to someandlosses toothers. The boatchartersystem andExxonandVecohiringpolicies werethoughtto have created badfeelings;some thoughtthatexisting divisions betweenNatives andnon-Natives,fishermenandprocessors, different gear types offishermen(e.g.,seiners, setnetters, draggers)ortownspeopleand Coast Guardhadbeenexacerbated.Onevillagersaid thatthesituation had turned "friend against friend, communityagainst community."Fishermenwerealsoconcerned aboutthe possible long-termeffects of the oilspillon themarket forfishand theuncertainty of thefuture offishing.OneKodiakmansaid that whilefishingisgearedforeconomic disaster becauseof"normal"risks,he didn't knowhow resilientthefleet couldbe thistime. Severalrespondents mentionedthatthe oilspillhadofferedanewarenaforpre-existingpersonaland political conflicts;arespondentinLarsenBaysaid,"They'realwaysbickering,now they'vegot new thingsto bicker about." Respondentsweremorelikely topointto problems that hadalreadybeen therethanto refer to newdivisionsof the fishing fleet or factionswithin communities.Therewereseveral mentions ofadded stress in the communities,aswellasreference to "high tempers."

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18SeveralKodiakrespondents thoughttherecent highnumberofsuicidesandsuicide attempts (inKodiakandinonevillage)was relatedtothe oilspill,whileone resident of that villagevery stronglyfeltthere wasnoconnection between suicidesand thedisaster. SomeKodiakandvillage residentsfeltthat anincreaseindrugandalcoholabuse, domestic abuse,andcrimewere either already present orforthcomingbecauseof the oilspill.OneKodiakrespondentsaidthe disaster haddiverted attention awayfrom"normal"ongoing community problems.Thiswasalso true in Port Lions,Ouzinkie,Karluk,andLarsenBay,where the personsnormallyworkingasVillagePublic Safety Officer(VPSO)wereworkingasoilspillresponse team leadersandwereunable todevotetheirtimeto policework.Public safety officersinallof the villages visited deniedanyoil-relatedincreaseincrime rates; inJuly,according to aKodiakpoliceofficer, there had actually beenadecreaseof domestic policecallscompared toother years.Somevillage residents wondered about the tollthe cleanupwas taking on the childrenwhowereused to having bothparents aroundin the summer.InAkhiok,Iwas toldthat"the kidsare watchingthe kids0"InKarluk,a womansaidshecould tellthat family stress waswearingoffon the children. Nottoo manypeople thoughtthatanything goodwascoming out of thesituation,although severalface-to-facerespondents commentedthedisaster had broughtunity of thefleet, or unity offishermen withothers in the community, against a commonenemy.Somerespondentsspokefavorably abouttheshort-term financialgainofworkingforExxonorVeco, butthere wasconcern,particularlyinAkhiok,becausemanypeoplewereworkingon the oilspill instead of putting upsalmonfor thewinter. Because it wasfeared that people might spendall their "oilmoney"before thewinter,the longer-termeconomic picture wasbleak.

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195)Thequestionconcerningexplanationandblameforthedisasterwas:"Whoorwhatdoyoublameforthisdisaster?"Whoorwhatdoyoublameforthisdisaster?Mailsurvey(N=14):Exxon:10Hazelwood:3CrewofExxonValdez:2State/Governor:6Federalgovernment/President:3CoastGuard:1Alyeska:4DepartmentofEnvironmentalConservation:1Greed:2 Humanerror:1Comments:"Greedforprofitsandoverlookingtheir(Exxon's)responsibility to therestoftheworld to keep it clean.""Thestate--shouldhaveensuredValdezresponseteamwasreal."Face-to-facesurvey(N=23):Exxon:12Hazelwood: S CrewofExxonValdez:2State/Governor:12Federalgovernment/President:2CoastGuard:7Alyeska:5DepartmentofEnvironmentalConservation:2Greed:1 Humanerror:1PeopleofAlaska/Americanpublic:5Oilconsumers:7Oilindustry:4Comments:"TheAlaska state government,thefeds,Exxonbigtime,alloilcompanies,usasAmericansforbeingsooil-dependent,forbeinginthepocketofoilcompanies.""Everybodycanbearalittle bit oftheburden.""Humanfailure.Evenifonepersontriggeredthedeal,nobodywasreadyforit."

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20More than halfof boththe mailandface-to-facerespondentssaid they blamedExxonfor the disaster.Only8of thetotal 37surveyrespondentsmentionedCaptainHazelwood.Nocategoryofrespondentswaslikely to pin the blameonasingleagencyorindividual, butthe face-to-facerespondentstended to assign the blame tothe oil-dependentsystem itself. TwopeopleItalked to inKodiakand two invillagestheorized thatthe oilspillhadbeenengineeredonpurpose,either to raiseoilpricesorforunknownreasons. SUMMARY OFRESULTS:Inregard tothefirst researchquestion,"HowdoKodiakarearesidentsperceive the effectivenessofdisasterpreparationefforts?",fewof the respondents thoughtthatthe EmergencyServicesCouncilwaseffectivefordealing with aman-madeoilspill.Commercialfishermen, both fromKodiakandKodiakareavillages,did not seem tothinkthat workinginahazardousandriskyoccupation better prepared them fordealing withthis si tuation. WhileKodiakresidentsweremorelikely to say the disasterpreparationfornaturaldisasterswaseffective,villageresidentstended to haveamore fatalistic orcynicalview.Thesecondresearchquestionwas"Howhas the disasteraffected"normal"life?"Theoilspillwasseenbyfishermen tothreatennot only their financiallivelihood, but also their independentoccupationallifestyle.Villageresidents,whoaremoredependentonsubsistencefoodsthanKodiak city residents,spokemoreliterally than Kodiak city residents aboutthe possibilityofoilcontamination,whileKodiakresidentsweremoreconcerned than villagersabout the "polluting"effectsofExxonmoney.InKodiak, the oilspillwasseenmorein terms ofeconomicandsocialdislocation than in terms ofaphysical threat. The third questionaddressed the perceivedrelationshipbetweenlocalandoutsidecontrolof the oilspillresponse.Kodiakareafishermen,whohavetypicallyresented the interferenceofoutsidersin"normal"fishing,wantedlocal boatsto becharteredandwantedlocalknowledgeoffishing to beusedin the cleanupeffort.Villageresidents ratedtheir communities'responsehigher than didKodiakresidents,andhadmoreconfidencein the leadersin their owncommunities.Kodiak city residentsweremorewilling toadopt anadversarial stand towardlocalleadersandtowardExxonrepresentatives,and they alsohadmoreopportuni tiesto voice their opinions at oilspillmeetings."Localcontrol"wassought-afterfrom the beginningof the disasterresponse, but moresoas the summerprogressedand the presenceofVecoandExxonbecamemoredominantineachcommunity.

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21Thefourthquestionasked,"Whatareideasabout the relationshipof the disastertopre-existinginter-orintracommunityconflicts?Fishermensuspected that Exxonmanipulatedconflictsbetweenfishinggeartypesandfactionsinordertopreventunityof the fleet,butalsosawnewpossibilitiesfor unity offishermenandothersagainsta common threat. Theconflictsmentionedbyvillagerstended to bebetweenindividualsorfamilies,whileKodiakcityresidentsmoreoftenmentionedconflictsbetweencategoriesofpeople.However,IheardaboutmanypersonalconflictsinKodiakaswell.Thefifthquestionwas,"Howis the disasterexplainedandwhoisblamedfor it?" Expressingdistrustof"bigbusiness,"fishermen(especiallysmall-boatfishermen)explained the disasterasbroughtonbyAlaskans'dependenceonoilinterestsandby the cumbersomemanipulationsofagenciesandcorporationsin the serviceofsuchinterests.Kodiakcityandvillageresidentsalikefound it hardtopinblameforthedisasteronaspecificagent."Exxon"was the mainvillain,butmostwerelessconcerned with findinganoriginalsourceofblamethantheywere with criticizing the agenciesandrepresentativescurrentlyoperatinginKodiak.Generally,non-Nativeresidentsof the cityofKodiakseemed to feelmoreofasenseofbetrayalbyagencies(local, state, andfederal)thanNativevillagers.Perhapsvillagersweremorecynicalbecauseoflongunsatisfactoryexperienceindealing with suchagencies.Thesurveyresponses,along with otherinformationgathered,pointtoawidearrayofspecificissues but alsotoaconvergenceof"moralimagery"incommunityresponseto the oilspill.Thisimagerypitstheindependentcommercialfisherman,ortheNativesubsistenceuser,againstbigbusinessandafacelesscorporation.Theoilspillwasseenasaseriousthreat not only to economiclivelihoodbutto the occupationalandcultural identity ofKodiakarearesidents.

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22ENDNOTES1.Populationfiguresobtainedfrom the KodiakIslandBoroughSpecialCensus.2.Allfiveof the mailrespondentswhovoluntarilyidentifiedthemselvesweremale.REFERENCESKodiakDailyMirror,variousissues.KodiakIslandBoroughCharter,(rev.1987).Saarinen,ThomasF.andHaroldJ.McPherson1981Notices,Watches,andWarnings:AnAppraisalof the U.S.C.G.'sWarningSystem With aCaseStudyfromKodiak,Alaska.NaturalHazardResearchWorkingPaperNo.42.

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Box350 Kodiak, Alaska 99615 June7,1989ToWhomItMayConcern: Iamconducting asurveyofcommunityresponsestotheExxonoilspillintheKodiakarea.Thisstudyisfunded bytheNaturalHazards Research andApplicationsCenterattheUniversityofColorado and bytheNationalScience Foundation.Yournamewaschosenaspartofa random sampleofgearlicenseholdersinKodiak and Kodiakareavillages.Pleasetakeafewminutestoanswerthequestionsonthesurvey andreturnitassoonaspossibleintheenclosedself-addressedenvelope.ALLRESPONSESAREANONYMOUS,butifyou wouldliketoknowtheresultsofthesurvey,pleaseencloseyournameandaddressseparately.Ifyou needmoreinformationorwouldliketodiscussthestudy,feelfreetocallmeat486-2810. Thankyouforyourassistance.Sincerely,RachelMason

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OILSPILLSURVEYJune,1989Ifyouwouldliketobecontactedwiththeresultsofthisstudy,pleaseincludeyournameand addressseparatelywhenyoureturnthesurvey.1.Howhastheoilspillalreadyaffectedyour life? 2.Howdoyouthinkitwillaffectyourlifeinthe future? 3.Whatisyouropinionofhowtheoilresponseandcleanupisbeing handled? 4.Whatdoyouthinkofhow Exxonishandlingthe response? 5.WhatdoyouthinkofhowtheKodiakcity/boroughqovernmentis.handlingtheresponse?6.Howdoyourateyourcommunity'sinvolvementinresDondinqtotheoil spill? 7.Whatotheragenciesorindividualsdoyouthinkshouldbeinvolvedthatarenotinvolved?Whatshouldtheybedoing?

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p,':2., 8.Whodoyouthinkshouldbeinchargeofhandlingthedisasterresponseinyourcommunity?9.Whatotherdisastershaveaffectedthiscommunityinthe past? Howdotheycompare with theoil spill? 10.Whatkindofdisasterpreparationwasinplaceinthiscommunitybeforetheoilspillhappened?11.Wasthishelpfulindealingwiththepresentsituation?12.Whatproblemshavecome up inthecommunityasaresult of theoil spill? 13.Haveanyproblemsbeenresolvedasaresultoftheoilsoill?Doyouseeanygoodthingscomingoutofthissituation?14.Whoorwhatdoyoublameforthisdisaster?15.WhoelsedoyouthinkIshouldtalktoabout this?


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