NCCOS, Ocean and Earth Environmental Services, and the Chugach Regional Resources Commission (CRRC) have initiated their Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with a two day training workshop at the Alutiiq Pride Marine Institute. The primary focus was training Tribal communities on HABs species identification and toxin detection methods developed by NCCOS. The workshop engaged attendees in the development and implementation of tribal natural resource management programs that ensure conservation and stewardship of natural resources in traditional use areas Southcentral Alaska.
NCCOS will provide additional workshops with several primary goals (1) transferring monitoring and testing methods to CRRC, (2) assist in equipment procurement and laboratory design, and (3) guide proficiency testing for the independent operation of the CRRC toxin testing laboratory. Overall, this project aims to empower communities to mitigate the effects of harmful algal blooms by transferring validated methods to end-users.
The CRRC tribal monitoring program was modeled after the successful Southeast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research (SEATOR) project initiated in 2013, where NCCOS transferred validated testing methods to local Tribes. Ongoing information sharing aims to reduce HAB risks and support the safety of traditional or subsistence harvesting of shellfish.
A total of 21 participants representing the Agdaagux Tribe of King Cove, Kodiak Area Native Association, Port Graham Community, Nanwalek Native Community, Norton Sound Health Corporation, Prince William Sound Stewardship Foundation, and Prince William Sound College attended.
NCCOS scientists conducted a similar workshop with the Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC) in March 2021.