CRRC 2018 Q4 Newsletter

by | Dec 25, 2018 | News, Newsletter

Chugach Regional Resources Commission
Quarterly Update

CRRC has been busy these last few months! Take a look below to see what staff have been up to. We also include other regional and noteworthy news.

Congratulations to CRRC!

The Chugach Regional Resources Commission was nominated and received honorable mention for this year’s Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards for Natural Resources. The Steering Committee believed that we have shown exemplary leadership in advancing climate adaptation. CRRC received this honor and recognition at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Annual Meeting on September 10th in Tampa, Florida.

Pictured above: Jeff Hetrick, Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery – Photo Credit: Tim Donovan, Florida FWC

The Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources was established in 2016 to bring to light many of the outstanding projects or activities that are advancing the resilience of our nation’s valuable fish, wildlife and plant resources in a changing climate. This award acknowledges the leadership of those individuals, organizations, businesses and agencies that are making it happen and promote their work as examples of successful climate adaptation.

The Award is sponsored and guided by the Steering Committee of the Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards and is made up of representatives from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and various Federal agencies (USFWS, BIA, USFS, NRCS, NOAA).

“This award recognizes the critical contributions that are made towards safeguarding our Nation’s fish and wildlife in a changing climate,” stated Virgil Moore, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of Idaho Fish and Game. “This year’s awardees have done outstanding work and we are thrilled to recognize these important efforts.” 

“Natural resource stewardship, under changing climatic conditions and increasing threat from fire and droughts, requires us to work together to face these urgent challenges,” said Patti Hirami, U.S. Forest Service, Acting Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry. “The individuals and organizations recognized by the Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards demonstrate and recognize the collaborative capacity we are growing together through shared stewardship to build forest and community resilience.”  

Read more about our honorees and about the Honorable Mentions here.

CRRC is proud to have the Regional Recipe book completed. It is with great pleasure that the Chugach Regional Resources Commission presents this book to the people of the Chugach region and others interested in their traditional foods. There are over 80 recipes featured in this book!

This work would not have been possible without the financial support of the First Nations Development Institute, the tireless outreach and research by Chugach Regional Resources Commission team members, Willow Hetrick and Chelsea Kovalcsik, and the countless hours of editing, organization and design by Rising Tide Communications.

Contact CRRC for a digital copy of the recipe book!

Seldovia, Port Graham and Nanwalek Trip Report

In early September, Jeff Hetrick and Chelsea Kovalcsik traveled to Seldovia, Port Graham and Nanwalek to work on a few hatchery-related projects. In Seldovia, the CRRC team met up with Seldovia Village Tribe members, Michael Opheim and Steven Payton While in Seldovia, the team took a skiff ride out to Powder Island and searched for Littleneck Clams that were outplanted 2 years ago. The team found clams that showed growth but died before reaching a sustainable size. We also scoped out the surrounding beaches as potential future clam habitats. The next day, Jeff and Chelsea flew to Port Graham where we met with Patrick Norman and other members of Port Graham Native Village. The team traveled to Murphy’s Slough where they successfully found clams that had been outplanted 2 years ago. These clams were alive and healthy. Jeff took a few live clams with him back to the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery to measure how much they have grown since being placed out there.

While in Port Graham, CRRC was greeted with a delicious lunch of smoked salmon and rice, where we sat with other tribal members and discussed changes being witnessed in the village. We also spoke with Fran Norman about the changes in the IGAP staff at Port Graham and the upcoming training in Seward for water quality sampling. After Port Graham, Jeff and Chelsea flew to Nanwalek, where they immediately surveyed the beach upon landing for potential kelp harvesting locations and clam habitats. CRRC hand-delivered our traditional foods poster to Priscilla Evans and joined her, Nancy Yeaton and other tribal members for lunch. Jeff and I sat for over an hour listening to local knowledge on the changes that are occurring in the villages. A few notable discussions that were had revolved around how raspberries were smaller than normal, salmonberries that barely came in and other environmental woes. The community expressed interest in having the hatchery work with Bidarki’s.

Getting the opportunity to visit our member Tribes was an incredible experience and we look forward to strengthening the relationships to develop stronger natural resource programs

Chugach Regional
Resources Commission Quarterly Update
CRRC has been busy these last few months! Take a look below to see what staff have been up to. We also include other regional and noteworthy news.

Congratulations to CRRC!

CRRC works with the five federally recognized tribes to identify Tribal environmental priorities, to develop and operate a regional multimedia environmental program, and to maintain an environmental presence in regulatory activities affecting the region. Using Tribe’s environmental inventories and EPA-Tribal Environmental Plans, CRRC assists in addressing Tribal environmental priorities, to support Tribal environmental program development goals and activities, and to develop a collaborative approach to improving environmental protection in our region.

Environmental Issues & Accomplishments

  • Traditional & Subsistence Foods
  • Environmental Change & Adaptation
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Water Quality
  • Ocean Acidification
  • Shellfish Rehabilitation

Alaska’s Fish Tissue Monitoring Map

The Alaska Fish Monitoring Program characterizes and tracks contaminant levels from over 90 species of aquatic species from across the state. The Fish Tissue Monitoring Map shows the sampling and results of the locations of the fish tested. View the map here.

Quick Facts:
  • Since 2001, the FMP has analyzed over 8,700 samples from 102 different species
  • Most of Alaska’s fish are low in contaminants
  • Fish is an excellent source of protein and important nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids and selenium
  • No detectable levels of radiation have been found in Alaska’s fish since testing began in 2014
  • Interested in contributing samples? Email:
Garden of the Salish Sea Curriculum

Garden of Salish inspires students to take responsibility for their environment and natural resources. We teach students to practice watershed friendly habits, engage the participation of their families and communities, and become engaged in scientific study. Today’s children are the leaders of tomorrow. 

They’ve developed a new curriculum involving all things ocean. Click here for more information and the entire curriculum. Click here for the final curriculum on ocean acidification and start using in your schools now!

Chugach School District Now Enrolled with the Imagination Library!

Congratulations to the Chugach School District Imagination Library that is enrolling their first group of children this month! The Chugach School District Imagination Library will serve children in the communities of Whittier, Chenega Bay, and Tatitlek. 
For more information, contact:
Shannon O’Brien
Phone: 9075227400
Fax: 9075223399
Total children covered by this affiliate: 17

Alaskan Tribal Nations Map Now Available!

The map uses traditional Tribal names that Tribes use for themselves, as well as the more common names they tend to go by. It is available as a poster, laminated poster, PDF or art canvas. 
To purchase the new Alaskan Tribal Nations Map, and to see all of the dozens of other Tribal maps, click here.

American Indian Higher Education Consortia Tribal VISTA

American Indian Higher Education Consortia Tribal VISTA
We have had tremendous success through the AIHEC VISTA program with the hire of our two-year VISTA, Chelsea Kovalcsik. In preparation for the two-year term to end, we are seeking interested people from the region to join our team.

CRRC’s VISTA Description is as follows: Chugach Regional Resources Commission (CRRC), based in Anchorage, Alaska, is an inter-tribal consortium serving seven Tribes in Southcentral Alaska. CRRC focuses on environmental sustainability, stewardship, and enhancement with projects that include ocean acidification monitoring, traditional and subsistence food security, shellfish rehabilitation and natural resource monitoring for changing indicators.

Contact Willow Hetrick at for more information.