Case Studies are examples of how communities are engaging in resilience planning.
Methods include conversations, vulnerability assessments, monitoring, mitigation, and adaptation planning.
|Bering Sea Fishery Vulnerability|
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries released a draft climate science action plan for the southeastern Bering Sea that includes a plan to assess the relative vulnerability of 18 commercially important fish species considering expected changes in climate and ocean conditions.
|economy emergency health-culture infrastructure leadership vulnerability|
|Brevig Mission Studies Environmental Challenges|
High school students in Brevig Mission investigated environmental challenges relevant to their community in their environmental science courses with Rebecca Siegel this year. They began the unit by mapping out local places of importance to them, their families, and the village, and then identifying some areas where environmental threats were already causing problems or likely to emerge in the future.
|Co-Management Helps Emperor Geese|
As the Emperor Goose population has slowly rebounded, the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council (AMBCC) created and passed a plan to re-open a limited harvest for the species: the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management plan for emperor geese.
|Cordova, Valdez, and Avalanche Hazard Mitigation|
In 2000, Cordova received $33,567 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding from avalanche disasters to complete the purchase and relocation of 12 residential structures away from the Eyak Lake area to available sites within the community. All structures were threatened due to their location at the bottom of a historical avalanche chute.
|Drills Improve Spill Response Capacity|
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the State of Alaska conduct joint unified planning for oil spill response to eliminate planning redundancy. The Unified Plan provides a coordinated federal, state and local response strategy within Alaska and its surrounding waters.
|Erosion Monitoring in Bristol Bay|
Through a partnership among the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), the Bristol Bay Native Association (BBNA), Alaska Sea Grant, and the Alaska Institute for Justice with funding from Alaska Sea Grant, The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to establish a program that gives Alaska’s tribes the capacity to monitor erosion using a consistent standard and methodology.
|Fish Composting Helps Naknek|
Alaska Bounty was formed in 2009 to grow fresh, organic produce at our farm in Naknek, Alaska. Located across the road from Red Salmon Cannery, the Alaska Bounty Farm uses only natural, locally-available soil amendments, such as fish-based fertilizers, local peat moss and wood chips for soil fertility.
|GIS for Environmental Monitoring|
The Ivanof Bay Climate Change Monitoring program was a four-year, multi-stage planning project to document indigenous knowledge and notable ecological changes within Elders’ lifetimes. Project staff monitored and documented changes in weather patterns, geography (e.g., land/mud slides, flood areas, changes in creek/river routes, beach banks) and natural resources (e.g., fish, game, vegetation, water sources), then analyzed relationships between weather patterns and impacts to geography and natural resource changes.
|Hazard Mitigation Planning Helps Alakanuk|
The City of Alakanuk successfully applied for a $280,000 hazard mitigation grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to respond to a spring flood disaster (DR-1423, 06/26/2002).
|Kenai Peninsula Partnership Aids Adaptation Planning|
The coastal communities on the Kenai Peninsula and within the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) are already coping with a variety of challenges related to a changing environment, particularly as communities depend on coastal resources for their economic and cultural livelihood.
|Kokhanok Integrates Wind and Diesel|
The Kokhanok Village Council received funding from the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) Renewable Energy Fund and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Diesel Program to upgrade their existing diesel power system and integrate it with Kokhanok’s wind turbines.
|Kotzebue’s Collaborative Research|
A group of Tribal scientists, independent researchers and regional leadership collaborated to study changes in Kotzebue Sound. The Northwest Arctic Borough science program ran for three years, funded by Shell Oil Company to support environmental research and related activities to better understand the region’s marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems and potential impacts from human activity.
|Newtok’s Land Exchange and Relocation|
When Newtok voted to relocate, the community obtained title to a new village site within the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge through a land-exchange with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
|Norton Sound Succeeds with Small-Scale Fishing|
Since 1995, Norton Sound Seafood Products runs a financially sustainable fishery purchasing fish only from small local boats and markets itself as a “small specialty store as compared to the mega-supermarket.”
|economy health-culture leadership|
|Nushagak Mulchatna Soil Survey|
The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) partnered with the Nushagak Mulchatna Watershed Council to complete a soil survey in 2010 that produced maps and descriptions of the soil hydrology, engineering, habitat and ecology for land and river corridors within the watershed.
|Ocean Monitoring in Kake, Alaska|
A partnership between the Organized Village of Kake, Kake Tribal Corporation, the City of Kake, and the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy.
During the summer of 2020, the Organized Village of Kake, Kake Tribal Corporation, the City of Kake, and the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy began an ocean monitoring program in Kake, AK. Team members collected samples of ocean water and mussel tissue (Mytilus edulis) and tested for climate and pollution indicators in and around Kake. The project topic and design of this work came from the local leadership in Kake. Fourteen of the fifteen total members of the (paid) field sampling team during 2020 were Kake residents. Data is being archived at the Organized Village of Kake, for use with future comparisons. In these ways, this partnership is able to conduct high quality climate research while upholding data sovereignty for the tribe and providing workforce development opportunities in rural Alaska.
|Place Names Project Keeps Traditional Science Alive|
For over a decade, park units across Alaska have made progress on implementing the National Park Service Place Name project, which is digitizing legacy toponym information while also gathering new data through collaborations with Native communities associated with park lands.
|Point Lay Walrus Protection|
The people of Point Lay have seen dead walrus on shore after observing plane and boat activities in the area. The Native Village of Point Lay is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to minimize potential disturbance events by requesting those who must travel by plane or boat follow guidance developed by the USFWS to avoid disturbing the animals on the island or in the sea.
|Port Heiden Adapts and Sustains|
The Native Village of Port Heiden initiated several projects aimed at sustaining the local community, economy and environment. These projects include a farm, salmon processing plant (in development), and a construction and environmental remediation company.
|economy health-culture infrastructure vulnerability|
|Quinhagak: An Archaeological Gold Mine|
In 2009, a 500-year-old artifact was discovered on the beach outside of Quinhagak, Alaska, opening the door to the most productive archaeological dig in Arctic history with 60,000 artifacts recovered so far. In 2009, the site was 50 feet from the ocean. Today it is ten.
|Relocation Challenges Across Alaska|
The 2009 GAO Report 09-551, thaw that substantially threatens village infrastructure and community health. Eight years after the 2009 GAO Report was issued, none of the villages has relocated.
|Renewable Energy and Heat Recovery|
Heat recovery systems use excess heat produced by electric generators to provide hot water in community water systems. Because only about one-third of the energy generated by fuel-burning diesel generators goes directly to creating electricity (up to 70 percent of that energy is ‘lost’ as heat), communities can save thousands of dollars each year by using that excess heat to heat water in the community water treatment plant.
|Scenario Planning for the North Slope|
To understand the potential costs and benefits of developing Arctic resources in a safe and sustainable manner—and to help ensure that residents and ecosystems in the region can adapt as conditions change—federal, state, local, and Native entities in Alaska formed the North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI).
|Seasonal Adjustments for Subsistence|
Climate variability has brought unique challenges in recent years in rural Alaska. In the fall, warmer weather has been extending into August and September in many parts of the state, a challenge for hunters who seek to harvest and process the animal when it is cooler so the meat will not spoil. During the winter hunt, lack of snow-cover means difficulty and unsafe conditions for hunters who travel by snow machine to access distant moose and caribou.
|Setting Priorities for Health, Social, and Economic Disruptions from Oil Spills in Alaska|
In 2019 Alaska Sea Grant was part of a national collaboration to gather feedback and identify opportunities for improving preparedness for the public health, social disruption, and economic impacts of oil spills. There was a total of five workshops held nationwide focusing on three broadly defined topical areas of public health, social disruption, and economic impacts of oil spills. At each workshop, leaders representing impacted communities, and experts in emergency response and preparedness, oil spill science, and human health and well-being, were invited to share their knowledge with an audience of community stakeholders.
|Shaktoolik Plans for Relocation|
Shaktoolik, an Inupiaq village of 250 people located on the Norton Sound coast, is experiencing many of the same environmental changes and threats to traditional life as other similarly situated arctic Alaska coastal villages. In particular, Shaktoolik faces severe threats from storm surges, flooding and coastal erosion that could destroy the community entirely with enough intensity.
|Shipping Buffers in the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea|
In 2013, the Aleutian and Bering Sea Island (ABSI) Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) purchased a three-year archive of satellite-based Automatic Identification System (AIS) data and conducted a Commercial Shipping Vulnerability Analysis to help managers and communities understand the magnitude of commercial shipping transiting through the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea region.
|Shishmaref Relocates Buildings|
In 1997, under authority granted by the Alaska Statutes, Section 26.23.020, the Governor of Alaska declared that a condition in the City of Shishmaref warranted a disaster declaration in order to qualify for FEMA Disaster Response, Recovery, and Mitigation Assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Act.
|Tok School Garden Serves Many Purposes|
Tok’s commercial greenhouse provides vegetables to feed the school’s students, and Tok School has been able to hire a music teacher and a counselor. The greenhouse continues to be used as a learning laboratory for biological science, indoor agricultural practices and nutrition.
|Tyonek Community Gardens|
Rural Alaska residents participate in a subsistence lifestyle including activities such as salmon fishing, moose hunting, berry picking, and more. The availability of fresh healthy produce to complement healthy wild foods is limited. Gardens provide healthy, locally-sourced food while promoting self-reliance and community well-being.
|Waterway Safety Committees Protect Resources and Communities|
Two waterway safety committees have been established in the Bering Strait, Chukchi and Beaufort seas as well as the Cook Inlet region and a third will cover the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands region.
|Wind Turbines Across Alaska|
In 2015, the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) operated more wind turbines than any electric utility in Alaska. AVEC covers the largest area of any retail electric cooperative in the world.