It's a job that started for Stephens before the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
"We had a very arrogant industry that didn't talk to citizens, didn't listen," he said.
And just hours before the Exxon tanker ran aground, Stephens and other concerned citizens were warning the Valdez City Council that a spill was likely.
"Just an hour after we broke up, that accident happened," Stephens recalled.
Before the spill, Valdez Mayor John Devens had appointed Stephens and others to a committee to look into the possible risks of the tanker traffic.
After the spill, Devens became one of the most outspoken critics of the cleanup effort: "I don't think you can clean it all up. I don't know that they even ever intended to clean it all up," he said 20 years ago.
For the last 10 years Devens has been the director of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council and one of the leading advocates for protecting Prince William Sound.
We had hoped to talk him about his efforts, but a serious illness has forced him to take a two-month leave of absence.
"He worked very hard in those early days," said Donna Schantz, acting director of the PWSRCAC. "He was instrumental in creating the Oiled Mayors group that dealt with issues with the spill.
"Leading the charge and leading our group in trying to make sure they're giving input and advice and oversight to the oil industry."
The job Devens and others started 20 years ago is being carried on today.
Dan Gilson was in the seventh grade when the spill happened. Born and raised here, four generations of his family have called Valdez home.
And he's now a spill response project manager with the Citizens' Advisory Council.
"If it wasn't for people my age to carry the torch, I mean, who else would?" Gilson said.
He worries that as time passes, concerns about the spill are fading away.
"It just doesn't seem like there's enough of my generation stepping up to the plate and understanding the issues," Gilson said. "The impacts of the spill -- just fewer and fewer people seemed to be involved these days."
But the longtime protectors of Prince William Sound feel their efforts have paid off.
"I think we've accomplished a great deal in the last 20 years to try to make the movement of oil on the water safer," Stephens said.
Stephens gives a lot of credit to the oil industry for changing its attitudes.
"It's totally different now," he said. "Industry listens, industry talks to us, industry keeps us up to date with what's going on."
And he has high praise for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.'s efforts to safeguard tanker movements, and to be prepared if there's another spill.
"A lot's been done to make it safer, it's just we can't get complacent again," Stephens said. "We just can't, and that's my worst fear."
A fear that what happened before could happen again.
Sunday night on the late edition, Channel 2's Ted Land continues our reports with a look at the effects from the Exxon Valdez oil spill on fisheries in Prince William Sound.