The Inaugural Chugach Children’s Forest Expedition
In June 2009 11 teens spent one week camping on the Chugach National Forest and living aboard the research vessel Babkin in Prince William Sound. They came from Cordova, Chenega Bay, Whittier, and Anchorage with backgrounds ranging from commercial fishing families, subsistence-based villages, parents working for the oil industry, and more typical urban lives. The mission of the expedition was to investigate and document environmental change related to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. One of the greatest outcomes was connecting Alaska teens from very different backgrounds with each other and with their shared wild backyard—and promoting great understanding.