Alaska Fish and Game Receives NOAA Grant for Study of Western Stellar Sea Lion Mercury Contamination

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game received a grant from the National Marine Fisheries Service it was announced today by NOAA in a press release.

Alaska’s Fish and Game received a total of $1,385,410 for the purpose of identifying the level and prevalence of mercury and organochlorine contamination in the Western Stellar Sea Lion population. The program will assess the potential links between continued declines and the contamination sources. $527,810 of that will be released to Fish and Game this year with the remainder to follow.

NOAA announced grants to nine other coastal states, Peurto Rico, and two federally recognized tribes for conservation projects for marine mammals, sea turtles, and fish species on the endangered species list.

Ten proposals from states and one from Puerto Rico were accepted from a total of 29 state applicants. Two proposals were selected from applications by federally recognized tribal entities.

A total of $3.6 million will be given out to the 13 winning applicats this year. Alaska’s portion was second only to the grant monies received by the state of Maine for removal of the Veazie Dam which hinders the migration of the endangered short-nose sturgeon. They received $548,304 this year of a total of $1,027,754 for that project.