Prince William SOUNDKEEPER®

Clean Water   Healthy Fisheries   Strong Communities

About Us

Our Mission

Grass Roots Advocacy for Preserving Water Quality in Prince William Sound, Alaska for All

Prince William Soundkeeper's mission is to engage in grass roots advocacy for preserving water quality in Prince William Sound Alaska for all users.  As a community based organization, Soundkeeper works to monitor, protect, and enhance the waters of Prince William Sound through community outreach, active stewardship, monitoring and fact-based education. 

Prince William Soundkeeper is a certified member of the Waterkeeper Alliance. To learn more about the alliance and its nearly 200 member organizations world wide.

History of the Waterkeeper Movement

The Waterkeeper movement started in 1966 when commercial and recreational fishermen, many of them veterans, united to save their river and formed the Hudson River Fishermen's Association. These fishermen recognized that outspoken, citizen-led advocacy was the only way to ensure that laws were enforced and their river, livelihood and the health of their families were protected. They took on many of the nation's biggest industrial polluters and won.

In 1983, they hired the first full-time Hudson Riverkeeper to patrol the river, to restore its abundant fisheries and to lead citizen-based enforcement of environmental laws. Their success spurred an explosive growth of similar grassroots programs across the globe, and in 1999 Waterkeeper Alliance was founded to support these programs.

Today, Waterkeeper Alliance is among the world's fastest growing environmental organizations, with nearly 200 Waterkeepers patrolling rivers, lakes and coastal waterways on six continents. Our proudest accomplishment is the depth and breadth of our member organizations and the unity of their vision for clean water and strong communities.

To learn more, visit

Prince William Soundkeeper Board of Directors:

Kate McLaughlin, President - Cordova
Kate has been a resident of Prince William Sound since 1998, working as a biologist, environmental consultant, environmental educator and writer.  She has served on the Board since 2006, and as President & Executive Director since 2010.

Dean Rand, Vice-President - Whittier                                                                                                                                                       As owner/operator of Discovery Voyages and the full-time captain of The Discovery, Dean is considered by many to be one of the most knowledgeable mariners in Prince William Sound after 30 years exploring its waters.  Dean is one of our Founding Members.


Vince Kelly, Secretary - Valdez                                                                                                                                                             Vince is another Founding Member.  He recently retired from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation where he spent the last 7 years inspecting oil tankers for the State of Alaska and evaluating oil spill contingency plans.  He and his family recently purchased an 80' schooner and plans to charter the vessel on the Northern Gulf of Alaska with a focus on Prince William Sound.  

Joe Banta, Member - Anchorage                                                                                                                                                          Joining us in 2013, Joe is our newest Board Member.  Joe has been working for the Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council since 1990, and currently serves as Project Manager of Environmental Monitoring.  He has a background in fishing and fisheries and grew up in Cordova and Prince William Sound.


Build a strong and lasting awareness of and affinity for water quality through diverse partnerships, inclusive strategies and realistic solutions to water quality issues.

Foster a holistic and cohesive approach to resource management & protection among local, tribal & state managers and agencies.

Engage in public policy issues that both protect the environment and resonate with the local populace.

Identify and cultivate new partnership opportunities with drivers of the regional economy including commercial fishing, tourism and sport recreation.

Collaboration with the Clean Harbors Working Group to provide clean boating and water quality education and advocacy to the Cordova Harbor users.

Collaboration with the Chugach National Forest Working Group and
others for protection of the western Chugach National Forest/Prince William Sound's Wilderness Study
Area and comment on the Chugach National Forest Plan Review.  Inform constituency of risks to the
water quality of PWS through the lack of a Coastal Management Plan, weakening of the Cruise Ship Waste Water Initiative, and the threat from increased recreational traffic.

Cruise Ship Waste Water Campaign protects 2006 Alaska voter initiative banning mixing zones for cruise ships in Alaskan waters. 380 Acres on Hawkins Island protected from subdivision development.
PWSK opposes EPA delegation of NPDES program to Alaska. PWSK Annual Clean Up expanded to Gulf of Alaska barrier island. Volunteer Clean Harbor Team formed to focus on oily debris and other water quality issues in Cordova Harbor. CEMP concludes year one of student program. CEMP launches three-year climate change baseline data study. First Prince William Sound Harbor Master Working Group Conference is held in conjunction with annual meeting of Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators.

Whole Truth Campaign launched earning international media attention for PWSK. Campaign website,, earns over 130,000 hits in first week of campaign. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler keynote at Whole Truth press conference at National Press Club, Washington, DC. CEMP partnership established with Prince William Sound Science Center. Annual Cordova Harbor Annual Clean Up reaches highest level of participation to date. Book-keeper hired (part-time). CEMP staff hired (part-time). PWSK invited to work with Constitutional Accountability Center to prepare for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on corporate misconduct.


Office moved to Cordova, new Soundkeeper/Executive Director hired. Citizen Environmental Monitoring Program Committee formed. Harbor Master Working Group formed. Outreach materials developed and visits made to PWS communities to meet with members, harbor staff, local governments and others.

Clean Harbors, Clean Boating Program launched. EVOS Reopener Campaign results in claim against Exxon for an additional $92 million to remedy unanticipated damages to the Sound from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Founding Soundkeeper/Executive Director hired & office opens in Valdez. PWSK is publicly launched with special guest Robert Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance. Water World Campaign brought to successful conclusion with state rejection of permit for floating gas station in Prince William Sound.

Prince William Soundkeeper incorporates as an Alaska nonprofit and receives 501©(3) nonprofit status from the IRS.

Prince William Soundkeeper accepted by Waterkeeper Alliance as the 118th Keeper program.

Informal alliance of PWS stakeholders launch effort to assess feasibility of a “Keeper”.


Alaska Community Foundation

Alaska Conservation Foundation

Cook Inlet Keeper

Copper River Watershed Project

Discovery Voyages

Eyak Preservation Council

Leighty Foundation

New-Land Foundation

Norcross Wildlife Foundation

Ocean Foundation

Oiled Regions of Alaska Foundation

Prince William Sound Science Center

Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council

Prince William Soundkeeper, PO Box 1368, Cordova, Alaska, 99574  tel: 907-424-5701  a 501c(3) non-profit organization.
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