2019 was a year of firsts and a year of growth. HIA Environmental Program and all of our staff are proud of the work we completed – we feel our progress is substantial and is guided by the community. We feel it’s important to look back at the last year to celebrate our work and learn from the challenges we experienced.
Stream Temperature Monitoring
In 2019 we installed stream temperature loggers at 5 sites in Spasski watershed. Some are on large streams and some are on small ones. The goal is to create a long term dataset of stream temperatures we can start to understand what risks exist for salmon and water quality.
In 2019 we completed Hoonah’s first electronic waste collection/backhaul event. Through this collection/backhaul event we gathered 8,500 pounds of electronic waste and sent it to be responsibly recycled. This year the collection event will be held during the week of spring clean up, so start dusting off your electronic waste today!
2019 is the third year of our partnership with Sitka Tribe and the SEATOR Network, we have collected shellfish samples year round and sent them to SEATOR for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) testing. You can keep up with results at the “Clam Hub” by the harbor or online at seator.org.
Shellfish sampling is just one aspect of monitoring we work with SEATOR to conduct, to produce the best quality data set we started to monitor ocean acidification, Phytoplankton, water/ambient air temperature, salinity, weather conditions, neutriens, shellfish biomass, and the tides. We have been working hard to build our capacity by learning about major impacts to our water eco system and the different things we can monitor to create a detailed baseline data set.
To see where we sample head here : https://www.hia-env.org/psp-monitoring/shellfish/
We completed a stove-replacement demonstration project this year, we replaced 5 wood stoves and repaired 3. Throughout the project we collected some valuable data about what the in home air quality is like in Hoonah and what the major contributors did we encounter during the project. We’ve been sharing those results at the Hoonah Stewardship Council meetings and all the communities throughout Alaska by presenting our study through webinars, and presenting at Alaska Tribal Environmental Management (ATCEM) conference and Southeast Environmental Management conference. We have completed a final report/ how to document and it will be published on our website (www.hia-env.org) very soon.
https://www.hia-env.org/2019/10/03/hsc-september-meeting-focuses-on-indoor-air-quality-and-program-updates/ and with other tribes in the region.
Lessons Learned :
Air quality: Throughout the air quality studies we have conducted it was clear that there is a need for more projects/studies to address air quality issues in Hoonah.
Solid Waste: Hoonah would benefit from a partnership between HIA and the City of Hoonah, together we can address several factors of Hoonah’s solid waste program to make it more efficient and reduce the amount of solid waste going into our landfill.
Hoonah Native Forest Partnership
The HoonahNative Forest partnership wrapped up it’s 5th year of work. We are looking for a couple of crew members for this field season and you can download an application on Employment Page. If you want a job working outside for the summer doing fish work, forest work, and operating a chainsaw then is the opportunity for you!
Tribal Wildlife Grant
This was the first year we operated under the Tribal Wildlife Grant. That grant funded a stream restoration and the crew to do riparian thinning and wildlife thinning.
The goal which each of those types of thinning is to improve the forest for wildlife, fish, and timber. In 2020 and 2021 we’ll be continuing our work in Spasski Watershed. https://www.hia-env.org/2019/10/31/2019-hnfp-recap-it-was-a-good-one/
We are thrilled to announce the public report of the HNFP. This report should be used to help you understand the history of the project and understand how the projects in blueberries, fish, deer, and timber can help you. Please review the document at : HNFP Public Report
2018 was our first food fair and we built on what we learned from that event to put on the 2019 Food Fair. Arianna Lapke, our AmeriCorps VISTA coordinated the gathering events and schedule for the day. The event brought in over a hundred people and we distributed a lot of food!. We had games for the kids and students and door prizes and drawings. Of course, there was a lot of food! Halibut chowder and deer stew. To review the whole day check out this article : https://www.hia-env.org/2019/10/10/traditional-food-fair-thats-a-wrap/
This was our first year of a coastal program. Sean Williams worked on getting everything in place to use SCUBA diving to survey local, coastal areas. This program is looking to grow into the future and it’s pretty exciting! No other community in SE alaska has a service or work quite like it! We learned it’s hard work to get going but worthwhile, too!
Presentations and Conferences
We are always seeking to share out the work we do and our message. Our staff were actively engaged in conferences and presenting our work. Here are of the places we were.
- Jeromy presented on indoor quality at ATCEM, Anchorage
- Jeromy and Sam presented our air quality work at SE Env Conference, Craig, AK
- Sean presented his coastal work at SE Env Conference, Craig, AK
- Ian presented the HNFP model at Private Lands Partnership, Utah
- Sean attended the ASUS Conference to get training and resources for our dive program, Vancouver, BC
Hoonah Stewardship Council
We have continued to meet as a group through the Hoonah Stewardship Council. This group meets the third Thursday of each month and all are welcome! You can see the latest news here : https://www.hia-env.org/environmental-legacy/currently-working-on/
Engaging in the Roadless Rule
HIA has been actively working with the Forest Service and regional tribes as a cooperating agency on the Alaska Specific Roadless Rule. This has been a difficult process and we have appreciated being at the table to continually advocate for our community’s needs. You can review some of HIA’s work to the process here : https://www.hia-env.org/2019/10/30/hia-and-five-southeast-alaska-tribes-condemn-the-roadless-rulemaking-process/
2020 is full of opportunity! In all of endeavors we look forward to learning from you, learning from our community and continuing to do our best. Below are a few of the things we have upcoming.
- Community Garden planning for the summer
- Hiring for the HNFP and establishing 5 more years of funding for the HNFP
- Biomass Energy
- Youth programming
- Shellfish Biomass surveys
- Solid Waste Management Plan with the city
- DBAC: soil and water testing old landfill
- Electronic Waste Collection/Backhaul event 2nd annual
- Coastal program development