Division of Spill Prevention and Response


West A Zone

This website is being used by a workgroup to develop Geographic Response Strategies (GRS) to protect sensitive coastal environments in the West A Zone of the Aleutian Islands from the impacts of spilled oil. The West A Zone is part of the Aleutian Islands Subarea and extends from the Islands of Four Mountains to Amchitka Pass.
GRS are oil spill response plans tailored to protect a specific sensitive area from oil impacts following a spill. These response plans are map-based strategies that can save time during the critical first few hours of an oil spill response. They show responders where sensitive areas are located and where to place oil spill protection resources.  

During a February 20, 2013 meeting of the Aleutian Subarea Committee, 12 sites were nominated from the list of 82 candidate sites for GRS development. The map below shows the GRS sites selected for development in the West A Zone.  Below the map is a list of draft GRS that have been developed for each site. Clicking on the link will download the plans. These will be reviewed by a Tactics Committee to ensure that these are the best for each site. Once they are approved by the Tactics Committee, they will be reviewed by the working group for any additional comments or edits. After this period, they will be forwarded to the Subarea Committee for additional review and inclusion in the Subarea Contingency.



Color key:
Red: Candidate sites for GRS.
Yellow: Site selected for GRS development; draft GRS may be available for review by Workgroup members.

Download a printable pdf format file (99 KB) of this map and sitelist. The current file date is: January 20, 2015.

To save a copy of this colored map directly to your hard drive:
Windows: right click on the map and select "save image as..." from the menu that appears;
Mac: click and hold on the map, and select the "download image to disk" option from the menu that appears.


West A Zone Draft GRS

AWA01 Kagamil Island
AWA02 Amlia Island NW
AWA03 Amlia Island SW
AWA04 Nazan Bay Atka
AWA05 North Cape to Cape Korovin
AWA06 Korovin Bay North
AWA07 Korovin Bay South
AWA08 Kagalaska Island North
AWA09 North Kagalaska Strait
AWA10 Bay of Islands
AWA11 Shagak Bay
AWA12 Kuluk Bay Sweeper Cove
AWA13 Finger Bay
AWA14 Scabbard Bay

The following links download the site selection matrix (40.5 KB pdf) and site selection key (29.2 KB pdf), which list the candidate sites and summarize the resources at risk for each site.


The Aleutian GRS Site Selection Process

The first step in the GRS site selection process is to identify candidate sites. Candidate sites are identified based on a set of three major site selection criteria.

  • environmental sensitivity,

  • risk of being impacted from a water borne spill; and

  • feasibility of successfully protecting the site with existing technology.

Public comments are also considered during site selection and the sites selected by the workgroup will consider this input. Once GRS site selection is finalized, the workgroup will develop strategies for each site.

The potential GRS locations identified in the site selection matrix were selected based on the following criteria of environmental sensitivity, which are set forth in the Aleutian Subarea Plan:

  1. Threatened and Endangered Species/Habitats
  2. Marshes
  3. Eel grass beds
  4. Sheltered Tidal Flats
  5. Sheltered Rocky Shores
  6. Sea Otter Concentration Areas
  7. Harbor Seal Haulouts
  8. Sea Lion Rookeries and Haulouts
  9. Large Seabird Colonies
  10. Waterfowl and Shorebird Spring,Fall or Winter Concentration Areas
  11. Eagle Nest Sites
  12. Large Anadromous Fish Streams
  13. Intertidal Salmon Spawning Areas
  14. Hatcheries & Aquaculture sites
  15. Herring Spawning Areas
  16. Federal Wilderness Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and National Natural Landmarks
  17. State Refuges, Sanctuaries, and Critical Habitat Areas
  18. Cultural Resources/Archaeological Sites
  19. Intertidal Sites
  20. Subsistence Harvest Areas
  21. High Use Commercial Fishing Areas
  22. High Use Recreational Areas

Public involvement is essential to ensure that the sites selected and the strategies developed will reflect the environmental protection priorities of local communities, stakeholders, and resource users. The workgroup will be seeking public input to ensure that everyone with a stake in Aleutians is made aware of Geographic Response Strategies and their importance during an oil spill response. If you have local knowledge about the Aleutians Subarea or if you would like more information about Geographic Response Strategies please contact: dec.spar.grs@alaska.gov

You can learn more about Geographic Response Strategies by reading our Frequently Asked Questions.

For more information about Geographic Response Strategies or questions pertaining to this project, please contact: dec.spar.grs@alaska.gov


This page was updated: January 22, 2015 by Nuka Research & Planning Group, LLC