NCCOS scientists partnering with Alaska Native communities to understand losses of shellfish
Alaska is often considered to be a pristine environment, but local and regional depletions of nearshore coastal shellfish and other invertebrate species are being observed in places like Kachemak Bay. Local tribal communities are particularly concerned about depletions of the clam, crab, cockle and chiton species they have traditionally harvested. National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) scientists at the Kasitsna Bay Laboratory participated in a March 9, 2012 meeting organized by the Port Graham Village Council to foster a dialogue on how NOAA, state agency and university researchers could work with the Port Graham, Nanwalek and Seldovia villages to better understand environmental changes and potential ways to restore depleted shellfish populations. The group identified potential first steps, including compiling information from research studies and traditional knowledge and incorporating new NOAA seafloor mapping data and aerial shoreline imagery into the benthic habitat map previously developed by NCCOS for Port Graham Bay.