FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carol Tocco
Partnership Agreement to Streamline Government Management of Resources
Gov. Tony Knowles announced that state and federal officials are set to sign a historic partnership agreement between the state of Alaska's coastal management program and the federal Coastal America Program during a Friday, February 9, ceremony at the Egan Center in Anchorage.
The partnership agreement will better coordinate management of the valuable habitats, resources, and uses of resources in Alaska's coastal zone. The focus will be on "doing it right" through sound science, good management, restoration, education, and public process. The signing ceremony will be held at the Watershed Summit session 9:30 a.m., at the Alaska Forum on the Environment.
The partnership agreement between the Alaska Coastal Management Program and the federal Coastal America program does not commit resources but will provide an important framework to share information, pool resources, and combine management skills and technical expertise to address projects of mutual interest and benefit. Examples of cooperation include the Duck Creek Restoration project in Juneau, and the Kenai River Resource Protection and Education Team that won a 2000 Coastal America national award for outstanding partnership efforts to restore and protect the Kenai river banks.
The governor's Division of Governmental Coordination is the lead agency for the Alaska Coastal Management Program. ACMP is a network of state and local governments that provides stewardship for Alaska's rich and diverse coastal resources. The ACMP provides funding and technical support to develop local and state coastal management programs; coordinate review of projects proposed in the coastal zone; and educate the public about coastal management.
"With the longest coastline and the smallest population of any state in the U.S., finding new ways to combine funding and other resources is key to effective coastal management efforts," said Patrick Galvin, director of the Alaska Division of Governmental Coordination.
The Coastal America Partnership provides a forum for federal interagency collaborative action and a mechanism to facilitate regional action plans to protect, preserve, and restore the nation's coastal resources. This partnership for action is comprised of the Departments of Agriculture, Air Force, Army, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Navy, Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Representatives serve on the Alaska Regional Implementation Team for the Coastal America program in Alaska.
"This agreement provides formal recognition that the issues associated with this effort often can be addressed better through intergovernmental coordination and cooperation than by federal and state agencies working in isolation," said Jim Balsiger, Alaska Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. "For example, the initiatives outlined in the agreement can be immediately used by participants at the Watershed Summit to collaborate on innovative approaches to restoring water quality and protecting public health and the environment."
Reporters note: Coastal America contact is Jeanne Hanson, chair of the Alaska Regional Implementation Team, National Marine Fisheries Service, (907) 271-3029. Contact for Alaska Coastal Management is Gabrielle LaRoche, Alaska Coastal Program Coordinator, (907) 465-3541.
Copies of the agreement will be available