Division of Spill Prevention and Response


This website was used to assist the Western Alaska Places of Refuge Workgroup in the development of a document describing Potential Places of Refuge in the Western Alaska Subarea. A map of the areas of concern is shown below.

The Western Alaska Subarea is depicted in the map shown below. Similar projects have taken place throughout all of coastal Alaska. The workgroup record and products from those projects are available at http://www.dec.state.ak.us/spar/PPR/ppor/home.htm.


The objective of this project has been to identify docking, anchoring, mooring and grounding locations that may be selected as Potential Places of Refuge in order to enhance the overall response process for stricken vessels that request assistance.


The documents developed by the workgroup that describe the potential places of refuge will be included in the Subarea Contingency Plan (SCP) for the Western Alaska. To familiarize responders with the documents an Introductory Section will be included in the SCP. This section is helpful in explaining the how to use the plans and how the documents were developed. Download (2.24 mb pdf) a copy of the draft introduction section to the Places of Refuge portion of the Subarea Contingency Plan.


The map below depicts some of the risk factors used in selecting potential places of refuge. The site assessment matrix (81.7 KB pdf) and site assessment key (56.2 KB pdf) summarize the resources at risk for each site.

wak risk map

Download a printable copy of this map in pdf format (603 KB pdf). The workgroup has identified a total of 16 PPOR sites. The index map below depicts the different PPOR Maps that include these sites.

wak index map

Download a copy of this map in pdf format – high resolution version for printing (184KB pdf).

Index of PPOR Maps

A total of 3 zones were developed to include the Potential Places of Refuge sites selected in the Western Alaska Subarea. Each zone had maps developed that show the locations of these sites. In addition to the maps, three tables for each zone were created that give specific information for each individual site. These include site considerations, stakeholders, and physical and operational characteristics.

The following is a list of the Potential Places of Refuge maps identified on the index map with links to the corresponding file in pdf format:

Western Alaska PPOR Zone 1
Western Alaska PPOR Zone 2
Western Alaska PPOR Zone 3

An associated project, the Western Alaska Geographic Response Strategy (GRS) Project may be found at the following link: http://dec.alaska.gov/spar/PPR/grs/wa/home.htm

Primary Project Participants

  • Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
    Alaska Department of Natural Resources
    Alaska Department of Fish and Game
    Alaska Marine Pilots Association
    Association of Village Council Presidents
    City of Bethel
    City of Dillingham
    Bristol Bay Borough
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    Crowley Marine Services
    Bristol Bay Native Association
    U.S. Coast Guard, District 17
    U.S. Department of the Interior
    U.S. Coast Guard COTP Western Alaska
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Invasive Species Considerations

Alien or invasive species include seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of propagating that species that is not native to an ecosystem. Invasive species commonly are transported in ballast waters and cargo associated oil transport and shipping. During operations any species that are encountered that are suspected to be non-native should be collected and presented to wildlife managers. Additional information on invasive species can be found in the “Useful Websites” section below.

Websites of Interest

Invasive species informative websites:


If you have local knowledge about the Northwest Arctic Subarea or for more information or questions pertaining to this project, contact dec.spar.ppor@alaska.gov

You will need a special program to open some of the files (pdf) that you may download from this site. If you do not already have one, you may download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to open them. If you have special accessibility needs, Adobe offers several free accessibility programs for reading pdf files as well.


This page was updated: July 17, 2012 by Nuka Research & Planning Group, LLC

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This report website is funded in part with qualified outer continental shelf oil and gas revenues by the Coastal Impact Assistance Program, Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

DISCLAIMER: The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.