KODIAK, Alaska — Kodiak and military officials are meeting to help assuage community concerns about military exercises in the Gulf of Alaska.
The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports that Northern Command Liaison Officer to Alaska Command Col. Chris Reifel met with the Kodiak City Council on Tuesday to address Northern Edge, a U.S. Pacific Command exercise in the Gulf of Alaska with participation from all military services and other agency partners.
"This is a new effort on our part to try to share with you what we're planning to do," Reifel said.
Military exercises in the gulf are scheduled for May 1-12.
Reifel's visit marks the second time military officials have come to Kodiak for outreach this year. The presentations come after exercises in May 2015 were met with protests.
Community members protested previously out of concern for the potential impact of explosives and sonar on marine life.
A new environmental impact statement was completed in July to cover Northern Edge exercises after 2016.
According to the new EIS, "the best available science indicated that training activities will not compromise the productivity of fish or affect their habitat. Additionally, it was reemphasized that fishermen will also see little to no change."
Reifel said the 2017 exercises will be less extensive than they were in 2015, though a July environmental impact statement expanded the parameters of exercises allowed beyond previous studies.