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Building Capacity for Alaskan Tribes

Calm sea with mountains on horizon and expansive sky in Ketchikan, Alaska. Credit: Phil Price, Flickr

Why we care:
Alaskan Native communities rely on healthy marine ecosystems for work, sustenance and their way of life. Ocean acidification has documented impacts to marine life and these communities. An important step is assessing the vulnerability of Native Alaskan communities to ocean acidification impacts and developing adaptation strategies for future conditions.

NOAA Ocean Acidification supports workforce development through funding a fellow for this project with the 2023 Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship Program. This project future prepares youth experience with ocean acidification monitoring.

What we will do:
Spencer Weinstein works with partners at Alaska Sea Grant, the Ketchikan Indian Community, the Metlakatla Indian Community, and OceansAlaska to build tribal capacity for climate change adaptation. A primary objective of the fellowship is to monitor ocean acidification and evaluate vulnerability of subsistence resources to ocean acidification. Tribes will establish a partnership with OceansAlaska to monitor ocean acidification and sample water at key harvesting sites to identify potential future scenarios for ocean acidification and vulnerability of subsistence resources to low ocean acidification. This grant provides funding for staff support and youth interns for ocean acidification monitoring using the existing Burkolater at OceansAlaska. The University of Alaska, Fairbanks will support training and technical assistance, process samples and meet with communities to share results.

Benefits of our work:
This work will increase ocean acidification monitoring capacity and assesses vulnerability of Alaskan Tribes to ocean acidification. These efforts help communities adapt to ocean acidification and its impacts. Additionally, it supports the career development of a fellow and youth in the region.

Image: Ketchikan, Alaska. Credit: Phil Price, Flickr Creative Commons

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The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) works to prepare society to adapt to the consequences of ocean acidification and conserve marine ecosystems as acidification occurs. Learn more about the human connections and adaptation strategies from these efforts.

Adaptation approaches fostered by the OAP include:


Using models and research to understand the sensitivity of organisms and ecosystems to ocean acidification to make predictions about the future, allowing communities and industries to prepare


Using these models and predictions as tools to facilitate management strategies that will protect marine resources and communities from future changes


Developing innovative tools to help monitor ocean acidification and mitigate changing ocean chemistry locally


On the Road

Drive fuel-efficient vehicles or choose public transportation. Choose your bike or walk! Don't sit idle for more than 30 seconds. Keep your tires properly inflated.

With your Food Choices

Eat local- this helps cut down on production and transport! Reduce your meat and dairy. Compost to avoid food waste ending up in the landfill

With your Food Choices

Make energy-efficient choices for your appliances and lighting. Heat and cool efficiently! Change your air filters and program your thermostat, seal and insulate your home, and support clean energy sources

By Reducing Coastal Acidification

Reduce your use of fertilizers, Improve sewage treatment and run off, and Protect and restore coastal habitats

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You've taken the first step to learn more about ocean acidification - why not spread this knowledge to your community?

Every community has their unique culture, economy and ecology and what’s at stake from ocean acidification may be different depending on where you live.  As a community member, you can take a larger role in educating the public about ocean acidification. Creating awareness is the first step to taking action.  As communities gain traction, neighboring regions that share marine resources can build larger coalitions to address ocean acidification.  Here are some ideas to get started:

  1. Work with informal educators, such as aquarium outreach programs and local non-profits, to teach the public about ocean acidification. Visit our Education & Outreach page to find the newest tools!
  2. Participate in habitat restoration efforts to restore habitats that help mitigate the effects of coastal acidification
  3. Facilitate conversations with local businesses that might be affected by ocean acidification, building a plan for the future.
  4. Partner with local community efforts to mitigate the driver behind ocean acidification  – excess CO2 – such as community supported agriculture, bike & car shares and other public transportation options.
  5. Contact your regional Coastal Acidification Network (CAN) to learn how OA is affecting your region and more ideas about how you can get involved in your community
       More for Taking Community Action