Alaska Forum on the Environment 2018
February 12th – 16th
I traveled to Anchorage and spent the week attending the Alaska Forum on the Environment (AFE). AFE is an annual gathering which brings together environmental people and organizations local and federal, and gives them a floor to talk about things impacting their environments, like climate change.
While at AFE I attended many sessions and partook in many discussions and training exercises. Many of the sessions I sat in on where sessions focusing on Indian General Assistance Program (IGAP) and how to use many of the programs features. I attended a session that talked about improving stream habitat to increase the numbers of salmon spawning and hatching, and returning to the stream. SEATOR crew was there and presented on Ocean Acidification (OA) and their monitoring efforts, I though this one was neat because it showed how great the OA issue is and just how few people and communities are monitoring this change in our oceans. The OA sessions showed the effort that has been put into creating an OA monitoring network together in southeast, HIA Environmental is part of this ground breaking network.
Jeff Hetrick, the director of the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery in Seward invited a group of us to tour the hatchery and OA lab. On Friday we piled into cars early in the morning and set off on a 4 hour round trip to Seward AK to visit their Ocean Acidification (OA) lab and Shell fish Hatchery. This I felt was the best part of AFE for me, because Jeff explained in great detail ocean acidification and was able to show us shell fish raised in varying levels of OA. Seeing the OA lab was also very informative and it helped me to understand how complex the process is for processing a discrete sample. Throughout the day and in conversations with Jeff it was very clear that OA is an issue that we need to pay close attention too, and communities like ours that are doing the sampling are the early warning system, and without us, there wouldn’t be base line data or any detection system in place. For more info on Jeff and his program visit: http://www.aoos.org/alaska-ocean-acidification-network/meet-jeff-hetrick/
Pictures of some of the action
Day 1 opening remarks
A look at some of the sessions and the SEATOR table
They had a artist in the sessions interpreting the messages into these awesome displays
Field trip to Seward