We believe that healthy people live in healthy communities.

KANA’s Environmental Department’s overall role is to take the environmental priorities provided by tribes and work to implement solutions to their concerns. They are currently working on several projects funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Tribal Resilience and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Indian General Assistance Program (IGAP).

Funded under EPA IGAP is solid waste management. Kodiak has four communities participating in a pilot phase 2 of Backhaul Alaska, which is a program that coordinates the hauling of hazardous waste out of rural Alaska communities. KANA’s Environmental Coordinator acts as the regional coordinator for Port Lions, Ouzinkie, Old Harbor, and Larsen Bay. Assistance with hazardous waste inventories, staging, and logistics is provided along with updating existing Integrated Solid Waste Management Plans (ISWMPs).

Also funded by EPA IGAP is a water quality monitoring program that started in 2018. Alaskan residents, both Native and non-native, depend on ocean resources for subsistence and economic stability. Due to their close connection with the land and water, Alaskans have noticed changes to the ocean environment firsthand and from scientific research conducted by academic and agency entities in Alaska. Climate change and ocean acidification (OA) are deemed a threat to traditional ways of life. This sea water chemistry monitoring program is a multi-tribal/village collaboration designed to look at basic parameters such as temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and nutrients to collect baseline information on these important factors which influence the marine environment. Currently, samples are being collected in Port Lions, Ouzinkie, Old Harbor, Larsen Bay and South Trident Basin, Kodiak.

KANA is assisting Tribal partners through a Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Resilience Program grant-funded research project to monitor harmful algal toxins in Kodiak's ocean waters. Through a partnership with Sun'aq Tribe of Kodiak, Alaska Sea Grant and Sitka Tribe of Alaska, we are working to test harvested wild shellfish samples from Kodiak waters and develop regional baseline data. The goal is to identify harmful algal species in the water while testing tissue samples from various shellfish to identify levels of Paralytic Shellfish Toxins (PSTs), which cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). PSP an illness that is caused by eating shellfish contaminated with naturally-occurring toxins that can be lethal to humans.

KANA also hosts a monthly environmental workgroup called KELP (Kodiak Environmental Leaders & Professionals) with tribes, local organizations, and partners to improve communication and cooperation on local environmental issues and projects.

If you would like to receive updates on any of the programs or join the KELP workgroup, contact:
Tyler Korneils- Economic Development Manager
Andie Wall- Environmental Coordinator, BIA TRP

Paralytic Shellfish Monitoring

KANA is assisting Tribal partners with a grant-funded research project monitoring poisonous toxins in Kodiak's ocean waters. Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) is caused by eating shellfish contaminated with naturally-occurring toxins that can be lethal to humans.

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Southeast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research

The Southeast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research partnership (SEATOR) was formed by the Sitka Tribe of Alaska in 2013 as a network of tribal governments, universities, and nonprofits to monitor harmful algae blooms in the state. KANA and Sun'aq Tribe of Kodiak have partnered with Sitka Tribe of Alaska to test harvested shellfish samples from Kodiak waters.

SEATOR website