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The new White House Ocean Justice Strategy features an Alaska CASC-funded project that engaged with the Yakutat community to monitor and manage salmon populations in the Situk River, as a case study on DOI community engagement. 

“Ocean Justice” is the idea that everyone should have equitable access to the benefits provided by healthy oceans, including food security, and other economic, cultural, spiritual, and recreational benefits. 

A new briefing document on "Ocean Justice Strategy" from the White House is the result of the Ocean Climate Action Plan (OCAP) created by the administration in March 2023. The strategy identifies barriers to achieving ocean justice and outlines ways to achieve it by (1) embedding the concept of ocean justice into federal activities, (2) developing a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible federal ocean workforce, and (3) enhancing ocean justice through education, data, and knowledge.  

The Alaska CASC-funded project “Community Engagement in a Stream-network Assessment of Salmon Thermal-habitat in the Situk River Watershed of Yakutat, Alaska” is featured in the briefing document as a case study on DOI community engagement in Alaska where the University of Alaska and the Alaska CASC partnered with the local community to monitor and manage salmon populations. 

Almost 90% of households in the Alaskan Yakutat community harvest salmon in the Situk River for subsistence, but salmon are sensitive to increasing water temperatures. The Alaska CASC-supported researchers are working with the Yakutat to train the local community to collect data on stream temperature that can help them monitor, manage, and respond to changes in salmon stocks, along with co-mentoring local high school students as they transition to higher education. 

The “Ocean Justice Strategy” contains other opportunities to achieve ocean justice with insightful examples for those who manage oceanic resources.  

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