After much consideration, the Alaska Beluga Monitoring Partnership (ABMP) has decided to postpone the spring monitoring season until further notice. The situation with COVID-19 is rapidly evolving and the safety of our volunteers is our highest priority. To slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends social distancing. ABMP partners have agreed that delaying monitoring efforts is a necessary precaution at this time. However, if you have completed the necessary training and choose to conduct monitoring sessions on your own, please take the necessary precautions. These include:
- not sharing binocular or writing utensils,
- not monitoring if your health is compromised in any way, and
- standing at least 6 feet from other volunteers.
If you have not yet attended a monitoring session with a lead observer, please do not monitor at this time. We will provide training opportunities for new volunteers as soon as we set an official start date for the season.
Additionally, winter conditions at Twentymile and Kasilof River have made these sites unsuitable for observers. Current conditions make it difficult to get to these locations and the prevalence of ice makes beluga observations very difficult (if not impossible).
We will keep you up to date on site conditions and the new official start date for the season. Thank you for your patience and please stay healthy during this challenging time!