NOAA grants Alaska $1.3M toward ocean studies and management
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded a $20.5 million grant to 13 different projects across the U.S. for Ocean and Coastal Management.
The first-of-its-kind grant from NOAA came from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds. $1.3 million will be going toward the Alaska Ocean Observing System.
“That work is going to improve the way that the state collects and delivers its ocean information and in particular it’s going to help that data reached Alaska Natives,” NOAA Office for Coastal Management North Regional Director Betsy Nicholson said.
This funding is on top of the $4 million that NOAA granted AOOS during the 2022 fiscal year.
Nicholson said that the funding will specifically be going towards helping AOOS with how they collect and deliver ocean information.
“This allows us to do a lot more than we have had planned,” AOOS Executive Director Sheyna Wisdom said.
One of the ways AOOS plans on using the funds is by updating the current equipment they have been using out in the Arctic.
“A lot of the equipment that our researchers use from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and others has been operating in the Artic and other hostile working environments for quite a bit of time, and its just expensive to upgrade this equipment that is breaking down,” Wisdom said.
With the rapidly changing Artic Ocean conditions, AOOS says it’s critical they make sure the people that call these places home are up to date on the conditions. Having the right equipment is a key part of that equation.
“Coastal resilience is such a big issue,” Wisdom said. “Having more funding to get different equipment out there, to help some of these communities do more great work that they are doing, this just helps them be in front of the game here on how climate change is affecting them.”
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