June 11, 2014

Over $6.5 Million Allocated in 2014 to Support Marine Research

The North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) has received approval from the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for its 2014 funding package.

“After conferring with representatives from the National Ocean Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, on behalf of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce I am pleased to approve the projects recommended for funding by NPRB for the 2014 cycle,” said Jim Balsiger, the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration’s regional administrator for Alaska.

The approved 2014 funding package includes nearly $4.7 million for 24 projects funded under NPRB’s annual research program. In addition to funding research on individual components of the marine ecosystem, the 2014 RFP included a focus section dedicated to Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim (AYK) region Chinook salmon; NPRB is contributing over $800,000 to support three projects that specifically address AYK Chinook salmon issues2014 is also the first year NPRB is specifically funding long-term monitoring projects as a separate priority outside of the annual request for proposal (RFP) process. The approved funding package includes almost $2 million to support three long-term monitoring projects over the next five years. The final element of the funding package is $150,000 distributed among six graduate students to address scientific, technological and socioeconomic issues relating to research themes identified in NPRB’s science plan.

“If we want to maintain the health of Alaska’s valuable ocean resources long into the future, it is critical that we understand the complex processes in the marine ecosystems of the North Pacific,” said Denby Lloyd, NPRB’s executive director. “NPRB funds research that makes major contributions to the understanding of marine ecosystems and fisheries in Alaska’s waters.” 

In its enabling legislation, NPRB was tasked with making recommendations for research to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. In March 2002, NPRB announced its inaugural request for proposals (RFP) with a funding target of $1.5 million. Since then, NPRB has released RFPs on an annual cycle. NPRB relies upon input from independent reviewers and its science and advisory panels to select the most meritorious science projects that address pressing fishery management or ecosystem information needs. Those recommendations are then presented to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for approval.

Read more about specific elements of the funding package: