SEATTLE – About $850,000 in grants from the National Marine Fisheries Service will boost four Native governments’ efforts to help endangered and threatened species recover in the Pacific Northwest.
Don Chapman, senior adviser on Native American Affairs for the Secretary of Commerce, said the awards are “a testament to the dedication of Indian country to cultural and natural resource preservation.”
Cowlitz Indian Tribe will receive $304,272. Cowlitz is working to determine habitat preferences and impacts of sediment runoff on habitat for Pacific smelt, also called eulachon, in Lower Columbia River tributaries.
Yurok Tribe will receive $193,975. Yurok is working to identify whether Pacific smelt are still present in their historic range in the Klamath River, Mad River and Redwood Creek, and estimate abundance if they are found.
Makah Nation will receive $190,653. Makah is working to identify and reduce threats to humpback whales, local killer whales and Steller sea lions, and assess stock structure of eastern Pacific gray whales from Alaska to California.
Aleut Community of St. Paul Island will receive $158,085. It is investigating the Steller sea lion diet to determine how much of it includes commercially used fish species, and to assess the levels of contaminants that may be detrimental to sea lions and humans that rely on them for subsistence.
Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.