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Fireside Lecture focusses on ongoing pollution on Attu Island

Posted: January 18, 2013 - 12:01am
Abanonded facilities, gear and storage containers litter Attu Island, on the Aleutian chain, from a time when troops occupied this World War II stronghold. The presence of this litter continues to pollute the environment today.   Courtesy of Deborah Rudis
Courtesy of Deborah Rudis
Abanonded facilities, gear and storage containers litter Attu Island, on the Aleutian chain, from a time when troops occupied this World War II stronghold. The presence of this litter continues to pollute the environment today.

This week’s Fireside Lecture series continues tonight with presenter Deborah Rudis, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who will speak on Attu Island and the environmental degradation that continues today as a result of troop activity there during World War II.

Her lecture, which begins at 6:30 p.m. and again at 8 p.m. at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, is titled “Attu Island — Where WWII continues to wage war on the environment.”

During the WWII Aleutian campaign, Attu Island in the western Aleutians was of strategic importance and was occupied by both Japanese and allied forces. Remains of buildings, tent camps, gun emplacements, fuel storage tanks, pipelines, dumps, ammunition piles, utilities, vehicles and ordnance are still found on Attu — which is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Contaminant issues from these WWII remains continue to pollute refuge lands and cause injury and death to birds and aquatic organisms on Attu.

As with all Fireside lectures, this event is free and open to the public.

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