This month’s climate newsletter will be a little different but in a good way.
First off, my name is Samara Kasayulie-Kookesh and I am an intern for SEACC through First Alaskans Institute. I am Tlingit and Yupik from Angoon, Alaska. I will be working alongside SEACC’s Indigenous Engagement Lead Heather Evoy and Climate Program Manager Matt Jackson. I’ve just finished my freshman year of college and will be going into my second year this fall at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona where I’ll be getting a bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies.
For my summer Internship, I’ll be in charge of writing these newsletters for July and August. I look forward to this opportunity because the conversation about climate change has always piqued my interest. I hope you forward them to your networks and friends, who can sign up to get the newsletter here. Growing up I was taught about how much we depend on the land for almost everything, with this climate changing it makes it pretty hard to live off of the land. So, I’m excited to be writing the SEACC climate newsletters this summer. Let’s get started.
Speaking of climate change, air quality is starting to worsen as wildfires in central and southwestern Alaska start to escalate. With these fires getting bigger, air quality is starting to affect people all around Alaska. Towns in southeast Alaska, like where I am in Angoon, are being affected by the haze from the fires. You can see it when you look at the mountains in your area. What used to be so visible has become a blur with all the haze. As I’m writing this, I can see the haze across Chatham Strait here. With climate change, these fires are only going to get worse, and not just in Alaska, but the entire country will be affected as well.
Read “Alaska wildfires trigger air quality warnings as burned acreage already surpasses seasonal average” from Anchorage Daily News.
This is my first time writing this newsletter which is a good thing, so enough of the scary, bad situation — let’s start talking about the good news. For example, the recent announcement by the Port of Seattle, Port of Vancouver and the City and Borough of Juneau of a “Green Corridor” along the inside passage. This means that cruise ships carrying many passengers sailing through coastal waters in British Columbia and Southeast Alaska may soon be operating with fewer carbon emissions, reducing their climate impact and improving local air quality while in port. How?
Read “A cruise ship ‘green corridor’ in the PNW? Ports make pact over carbon emission goals” from Seattle Times.
Here’s your chance to get involved in person (and meet me, too).
To end my first newsletter I would like to tell you about an event I’ll be hosting in Angoon for my summer internship. I would like to clean up our landfill and start a recycling program here in Angoon. I will be setting up a community clean-up at the landfill with a community picnic to follow.
A few SEACC staff members are coming to Angoon for the weekend of July 22 to 24 to help me with this project. If you would like to learn more about what I’ll be doing, email me at [email protected]. Please feel free to contact me with any other questions as well.
SEACC Climate Intern
P.S. Can’t come to Angoon? Check out our events calendar to see where else SEACC will be this summer.