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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded a $943,358 grant to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to conduct observations and research into the biology of harbor seals in order to better understand how to manage Alaska’s population of the marine mammal. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The grant will support a project that will monitor, research and evaluate trends in harbor seal abundance and the factors that affect the population. From the data gathered, the researchers will refine the design and methods of analysis for future surveys. The data will be published in technical reports and journals and ultimately provided to the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service to aid in the design of a conservation and management plan for harbor seals in Alaska.

“This funding to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will ultimately help the state and NOAA Fisheries better manage harbor seal populations,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA and the Bush Administration are working to improve understanding of marine mammals and support local natural resource initiatives.”

Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth's natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 34 years.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA, please visit

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