Stokes Point (BAR-B) Joint Clean-up Completed: Site now safe for people and animals
Last summer Parks Canada, along with its project partners, cleaned up contamination left behind from past activities at Stokes Point.
Stokes Point is located along the Yukon North Slope in Ivvavik National Park of Canada. Prior to the creation of Ivvavik in 1984, Stokes Point was the location of a short lived Cold War era Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line station know as BAR-B (1950 - 1960’s), and a Beaufort Sea offshore oil exploration camp (1980’s). Over the years, no detailed investigation of contaminants left behind by these activities was ever conducted, and past clean-up efforts at Stokes Point had been piecemeal. This concerned the community of Aklavik and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation.
In response to these concerns, Parks Canada led a five year investigation and clean-up of the site – one of the largest such projects ever undertaken by the Agency. Parks Canada listened to the concerns and worked closely with the Inuvialuit, the community of Aklavik and its partners at Department of National Defence and Royal Military College of Canada to complete this project together.
Ivvavik National Park was established under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. It is cooperatively managed by Parks Canada and the Inuvialuit. The success of the Stokes Point project is a result of this co-operative management approach, where the community of Aklavik, land claim bodies, co-operative management boards, and the Department of National Defence worked with Parks Canada, through their participation on the Stokes Point Steering Committee, to ensure that the highest quality information was used to make the best decisions regarding the investigation and clean-up of the site.
Local knowledge was also important to this project. Information gathered from eight Inuvialuit Elders was combined with scientific knowledge to help Parks Canada design its investigation and make sure that no stone was left unturned in its search for possible sources of contamination at Stokes Point. Parks Canada thanks Bill & Lucy Cockney, Danny C. & Annie Gordon, Moses Kayotuk, Andrew Gordon Sr., Colin Gordon and Nellie Arey for their significant assistance and contribution.
Parks Canada also thanks the people of Aklavik who took the time to come out to the local meetings and community open houses held over the past five years to share their views and help Parks Canada and the Steering Committee understand the site and the cleanup requirements.
The joint clean-up has made Stokes Point (BAR-B) safe for people and animals – restoring and improving the health of the land, water, animals and plants of Ivvavik National Park that is so important to the Inuvialuit and the rest of Canadians.
Inuvialuit hired from Aklavik and the rest of the ISR made up the majority of the clean-up workforce © Parks Canada / N. Perry
Local knowledge provided by Elders like Bill and Lucy Cockney helped in the search for contamination at Stokes © ICS / Z. Hoe
Workers assemble the fuel absorbing barrier for installation at NWSO’s Beach Refuelling Area spill © Parks Canada / N. Perry