“USD 1 million allocated by Biden administration for climate resilience in Alaska”

The Biden administration is allocating USD 1 million to support climate resilience and food security in remote Alaskan communities while incorporating indigenous knowledge into NOAA’s fisheries science initiatives. This funding aims to benefit indigenous knowledge holders, tribes, and Alaska Native community members to advance equity and environmental justice.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo stated that this initiative will promote just treatment, equal opportunities, and environmental benefits for all people and communities, while respecting tribal sovereignty. The goal is to support research projects that address community concerns and enable NOAA Fisheries to conduct collaborative and co-produced research.

Up to USD 500,000 in funding will be distributed through the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Indigenous Engagement Program for various purposes. The money, supported by the Inflation Reduction Act, will fund five to 15 innovative projects annually, with each project receiving between USD 15,000 and USD 50,000.

NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Janet Coit emphasized the importance of implementing the agency’s Equity and Environmental Justice Policy to better serve all communities equitably and effectively. The focus is on building partnerships and promoting knowledge sharing to advance climate adaptation and planning for Alaskan communities facing the impacts of climate change.

The initiative aligns with efforts by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to incorporate traditional knowledge into its processes and NOAA Fisheries’ update of its national standards to address equity in the representation of local fishing communities. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski and tribal representatives have emphasized the need to consider traditional knowledge in fisheries management, supported by the Biden administration’s indigenous knowledge guidance issued in December 2022.