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Press Release
ALASKAN COASTAL EXPEDITION TO EQUIP INDIVIDUALS WITH TOOLS TO ENSURE A HEALTHY PACIFIC COASTLINE
Aug 19, 2009, 12:56

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JUNEAU, Alaska. (Aug. 19, 2009) – Four individuals have been selected to embark on an expedition along the Alaskan Coast to study the global impact of marine pollution and further their involvement in improving ocean health. These four “CODE Keepers” will use the knowledge and experience gained from the trip to make a positive difference in their hometowns, which span the Pacific Coast from Anchorage to San Diego. This unique journey will be hosted by Alaskan Brewing Co.’s Coastal CODE (Clean Oceans Depend on Everyone), WEND Magazine and Alaska Airlines.

The weeklong trip involves several extensive beach cleanups in Yakutat, a coastal community dependent on the sustainable use of ocean resources. The multi-day cleanup will be conducted in partnership with the Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation (MCAF) and the Yakutat Salmon Board. The Keepers will also tour the DIPAC salmon hatchery and the Yakutat commercial salmon fishing and processing fleet and other ocean-focused organizations. Through their experience, they will learn about the effects of marine debris on Alaska’s expansive coastline and the economic and ecological impact of marine pollution on even the extremely remote regions.

After the weeklong expedition (which will also give the CODE Keepers a view of the Alaskan coast from a kayak, a boat and a surfboard), they will serve as Coastal CODE “ambassadors” through grassroots efforts in their own areas.

“These four individuals are inspiring in their dedication to the sustainability of our oceans,” said Marcy Larson, co-founder of Alaskan Brewing Co. “We are confident that they will not only learn from the experience, but also turn that experience into further action in their own coastal communities and beyond.”

The chosen CODE Keepers were selected for their innovative and compelling ideas to ensure a healthier Pacific coastline, submitted through the Coastal CODE Web site, Facebook and Twitter. The non-profit founder, horticulturist, retail sustainability leader and scientist have diverse backgrounds, but share a passion for environmental health. They and their 140-character ideas that landed them on the expedition of-a-lifetime are:

Jared Criscuolo – San Diego, Calif.
“Sail the coastline of the US, stopping to give presentations on non-point pollution and the resulting hypoxic zones forming in the oceans.”

As a surfer and activist, Criscuolo and his business partner Kristian Gustavson spent the last year founding “Below the Surface,” a combination of a business and nonprofit organization that educates people about the need to reduce water pollution and promotes sustainable alternatives through water-based expeditions and documentaries. He is also Executive Committee Chair and the “Know your H2O” campaign manager for the Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego chapter.”

Kathleen Egan – San Francisco, Calif.
“Collect plastic from beaches at surf spots around the Pacific. Transform the plastic into wave mosaics to raise awareness.”

Egan, a Harvard Business School graduate, is a Senior Director at Oracle Corporation, where she spearheaded the company’s “Sustainability in Retail” project. Working with the Surfrider Foundation´s Rise Above Plastic program, she founded a local plastic-awareness and guerilla anti-plastic group, called “Stop the Plastic Wave” which works with companies to reduce plastic packaging and with consumers to change the way they think about disposable plastic. Kathleen has been travelling around the Pacific with her surfboard, collecting plastic debris from the shore and transforming it into art with a message.

Loren Luyendyk – Santa Barbara, Calif.
“Turn plastic into a resource with small scale gasifiers, making it worth money so poor people in developing countries will be able to clean the beaches for a living.”

Luyendyk has over ten years of experience in the fields of sustainability and small-scale farming. As a certified master gardener and arborist, Loren works with the goal of promoting an environment in which humans and nature can live harmoniously. This is also the goal of Surfers without Borders (SWOBs), a humanitarian and environmental aid organization he co-founded to reduce ocean pollution, promote sustainable development and mitigate the effects of travelling surfers. SWOBs has already started water bottle refill program and built sand water filters in coastal Central American communities.

Elizabeth Stergiou – Anchorage, Alaska
“Work with plastics experts to create a set of profitable products made from marine debris. Hire idle Alaska fishing crews to harvest debris from open water & remote shores.”

Stergiou is currently preparing for graduate study in oceanography, specifically related to marine debris transport and effects. She previously worked in both terrestrial and marine oil spill prevention and response for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) in the Division of Spill Prevention and Response (SPAR). Before her career in environmental protection, Stergiou served as a member of the Coast Guard where she was first exposed to the ocean pollution crisis when she traveled through the “North Pacific Garbage Patch.”

About Coastal CODE
Coastal CODE is a registered nonprofit founded by Alaskan Brewing Co. in 2007. Alaskan Brewing is the largest brewery in Alaska and one of the most award-winning craft breweries in the country. Alaskan Brewing donates one percent of proceeds from its Alaskan IPA to the Coastal CODE initiative, providing grants to groups for the cleanup and preservation of the Pacific Ocean and its coastlines. For more information, visit www.CoastalCODE.org.
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