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Anchorage City Salmon Partnership Reels in National Award
Alaska Program Helps Protect Salmon Habitat, Aquatic Resources

March 10, 2008

Anchorage’s Salmon in the City initiative, designed to protect and preserve healthy stocks of Pacific salmon, is getting a prestigious national award. Coastal America, a partnership promoting better management of coastal resources, has selected the Municipality of Anchorage’s Salmon in the City stewardship initiative to receive the 2007 Coastal America Partnership Award. Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich received the award on behalf of the initiative.

Timothy Keeney, U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere representing the President of the United States, presented the award to the city and its partners at a luncheon ceremony February 13 at the annual Forum on the Environment at the Egan Convention Center in Achorage.

“Alaskans care deeply about salmon and aquatic resources and depend on them for food, jobs, and recreation,” said Begich. “The city is honored to receive this award and we recognize that our success is the result of close working relationships with NOAA, Fish & Game, and our other partners.”

The Salmon in the City initiative is being recognized for its collaborative and holistic efforts to pool community and agency expertise and leverage resources to restore urban habitat for salmon and community uses.

Coastal America was established in 1992 to protect, preserve and restore coastal heritage by integrating federal actions with state and local governmental and nongovernmental restoration and education efforts. It is a partnership among federal, state and local governments and private alliances collaboratively addressing environmental problems along the nation’s coasts and Great Lakes.

Anchorage’s Salmon in the City initiative is part of a nationwide effort to ensure healthy populations of Pacific salmon. Congress established the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund to support state and local salmon restoration and recovery activities. Alaska’s congressional delegation ensured that Anchorage and many other parts of the state receive this funding to help sustain salmon populations throughout Alaska.

“Mayor Begich created a Watershed Task Force that brings together organizations with considerable expertise, resources, and good ideas to help us move forward on a number of important creek and salmon-related projects,” said David Wigglesworth, the city’s Creeks Community Development Manager.

Salmon in the City is currently focusing its attention on Ship, Chester, and Campbell creeks in Anchorage. The Watershed Task Force has identified many potential restoration projects along these creeks. Projects range from actions to remove barriers to fish passage, restoring stream banks, public education, and improving recreational fishing access and viewing opportunities.