April 02, 2024

Kilmer Announces New Federal Funding for the Makah Indian Tribe to Support Ocean Mapping Efforts

PORT ANGELES, WA – Today, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) announced that the Makah Indian Tribe will receive $288,482 in federal funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support its ocean data mapping capabilities. This funding is made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will build on prior ocean data and mapping support work by the Tribe, while also focusing on priorities identified by the Tribe and the West Coast Ocean Alliance, including tribal data sovereignty and student engagement.

This new federal funding will build upon a previous federal investment, aimed at enabling the Makah Tribe to continue to enhance their ability to execute regional ocean planning initiatives by increasing their mapping capabilities and allowing the ocean mapping specialist to continue providing data and mapping support to tribal staff and leadership, while also focusing on priority topics identified by the alliance, the West Coast Ocean Tribal Caucus, and the Makah Tribe. These include a focus on tribal data sovereignty, outreach to and education for the next generation of Makah resource managers, and a focus on ocean climate change and ocean energy data and research needs.

“It’s no secret that the climate crisis has a huge impact on communities along our coast, and in particular, our Tribal partners,” said Rep. Kilmer. “This funding will empower the Makah Tribe to continue to implement critical ocean mapping that will enhance their capacity to protect both the environment and their culture. We must continue to support regional ocean partnerships like that of the Makah Tribe and the West Coast Ocean Alliance to pave the way for a more sustainable future for Indian County and our coastal communities. I am proud to support these efforts and remain committed to advocating for the resources necessary to uphold the federal government’s responsibility to Native nations.”

“The Makah Tribal Council applauds the efforts of Team Kilmer for supporting these important programs and initiatives that help the Makah Tribe build capacity, expertise, and systems that protect our natural and cultural resources,” said Timothy Greene, Makah Tribe Chairman. “This will allow us to enhance our capabilities as we engage with our regional partners, including the West Coast Ocean Alliance and West Coast Ocean Tribal Caucus, in management of our ocean resources, development of climate change solutions, and research relating to ocean energy.”

“We remain committed to using these unprecedented resources to ensure that tribal community participation in regional ocean partnerships remains a steadfast priority,” said National Ocean Service Assistant Administrator Nicole LeBoeuf. “With the constant goal of being prepared for future challenges, today’s investment is another step forward in our mission to secure a prosperous and sustainable tomorrow.”

Regional Ocean Partnerships are regional organizations voluntarily convened by governors that work in collaboration with tribal governments, federal agencies, and local stakeholders, to address ocean and coastal issues of common concern. These projects will enable and enhance tribal participation with existing regional ocean partnerships, by supporting tribes’ capacity for partnership development.

NOAA announced a total of $753,953 in this round of funding to support three federally recognized tribes’ participation in regional ocean partnerships as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. These funds will support activities on the East and West Coasts to manage ocean and coastal resources and data and build resilience for future challenges while working to tackle the climate crisis and support underserved communities. Information on the other projects funded can be found on the NOAA Office for Coastal Management website.

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