Student artwork encourages clean harbors

sign with artwork and words
Kate Hendryx’s art illustrates a sign informing harbor users in Ninilchik about waste disposal. Courtesy Alaska Sea Grant

A new sign at Ninilchik Harbor features the artwork of Kate Hendryx, the winner of a competition inviting Ninilchik School students to illustrate what clean harbors mean to them. The durable, metal sign is part of an ongoing campaign by Alaska Sea Grant to increase awareness of and encourage best practices with waste disposal in Alaska’s harbors.

Alaska Sea Grant State Fellow, Tav Ammu, oversaw the art contest in Ninilchik and Dillingham. A similar sign featuring Dillingham’s winning art, by kindergarten student Sharon Souvannakasy, will be installed at the port in Dillingham later this summer. Ammu spent his fellowship working with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to lead a clean boating program of research, outreach and education that included the sign contest, as well as a survey. 

The survey collected information from boat owners, community members and harbormasters to better understand local waste disposal practices and harbor conditions. More than 200 respondents answered questions about their local harbors, personal practices, and concerns. The survey results will be used to inform where to focus future pollution education and control efforts.

metal sign with harbor boats in background
The new “keep our harbors clean” sign installed at Ninilchik Harbor. Photo courtesy Melissa Good/Alaska Sea Grant

“One thing we learned from this survey, as well as previous ones conducted by Alaska Clean Harbors, is that signs are the preferred way to communicate rules and regulations, and to inform harbor users about best practices,” said Ammu. “It’s really great that we can make these signs using artwork from kids to share an important message about keeping harbors clean.”

Listen to Ammu presenting the Clean Harbor survey results at COMFISH 2022 in Kodiak.