Hoonah Indian Association is a member of the Southeast Alaska Tribal Toxins (SEATT) partnership; SEAT is a network of Southeast Alaskan Tribes, university researchers, non-profit organizations, and commercial divers. Together, the network monitors communities across Southeast for harmful algal blooms and toxic shellfish. Alaskans are hospitalized every year for Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP), a life-threatening illness caused by eating contaminated shellfish. SEATT members are working to reduce the risks of PSP and related illnesses from wild shellfish by monitoring local plankton populations, testing filtering and testing seawater samples, and testing shellfish samples. As the partnership has grown, SEATT members have also started to monitor a wider range of ocean conditions, to map out algal cyst beds, and to improve our ability to communicate results to the public.
Twice a month, twelve months a year HIA IGAP Department and volunteers head out day night, rain, or shine to collect shellfish samples from Shaman Point and Gartina Creek. The ideal shellfish sample consists of 10 Butter Clams, 10 Cockles, and 50 Blue mussels from each sample site; depending on the tide and time of year we may sample Blue Mussels only.