Mariculture in Southeast Alaska

Supporting Alaska Native sovereignty through the development of sustainable ocean farming

Project partners:

   2020 – present

Project partner Lloyd Davis and Tribal Network Strategist Carson Viles work on a knot during a kelp outplanting and array deployment trip in Rocky Pass, Alaska. Photo credit: Miakah Nix

In the town of Kake, Alaska—part of the Keex’ Kwaan territory—we are part of a multi-partner effort to develop sustainable seaweed and kelp farming, leading up to a thriving mariculture industry across Southeast Alaska. Not only does regenerative ocean farming have economic and ecological benefits for the region, this work is also part of a bigger push to recognize the sovereignty of Alaska Natives to steward their lands and waters.

This project operates at multiple levels, from the local in Kake to the regional across Southeast Alaska.

Locally, we are:

  • Recruiting and training one to two kelp farmers in Kake;
  • Creating a five-year business and operations plan; and
  • Supporting with site permits and the development of infrastructure

At the regional level, we are:

  • Providing professional development opportunities and resources to growers;
  • Working with Alaska Native organizations to explore mariculture opportunities and relevant technical and financial support; and
  • Working with partners to establish collaborative workforce development programs between tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, industry, and other relevant partners.

Our approach to regenerative ocean farming is one way that economic development has been coupled with the collective push for Alaska Natives to express their sovereignty. With our partners, we share a vision for a holistic approach of reshaping the economy with a nature-based solution to climate change and resilience for future generations.

A video about our mariculture work in Southeast Alaska. Photos in the video are by Bethany S. Goodrich 

A participant of Organized Village of Kake’s Youth Culture Camp harvests kelp. Photo credit: Bethany S. Goodrich

Project partner Lloyd Davis during a kelp outplanting and array deployment trip in Rocky Pass, Alaska. Photo credit: Miakah Nix

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Blog post

MiiR and Ecotrust have been in partnership since 2019, when MiiR issued the first of two grants totaling $85,000. In this blog post, learn more about Ecotrust’s work related to tribal sovereignty and coastal resource management; fisheries, agriculture, and equity; and tools to enable coastal community action.

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