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Tyonek nonprofit receives NOAA grant for salmon habitat restoration

Tyonek Tribal Conservation District

The Tyonek Tribal Conservation District is continuing its work to restore salmon habitat on the western side of Cook Inlet. The conservation minded nonprofit has been working to restore several miles of salmon habitat in the Tyonek area for about six years.

The conservation district received a $600,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this month.  Executive Director Christy Cincotta said that funding will help pay for the replacement of two culverts and one road reroute, which were barriers for several species of wild salmon.

“Overall, the project is going to accomplish the opening of 9.3 upstream miles and 131 lake acres to multiple salmon species,” Cincotta explained, “providing benefits to both salmon and Cook Inlet beluga whales that rely on salmon as a food source.”

The conservation district began identifying restoration projects within its boundaries in 2012.

“We’ve completed five culvert replacements and opened up over 20 miles of habitat for salmon on western Cook Inlet and the Tyonek area,” Cincotta added.

Cincotta said the nonprofit has identified 11 additional projects, which are expected to be complete in 2021.

Aaron Bolton has moved on to a new position in Montana; he is no longer KBBI News Director. KBBI is currently seeking a News Director, and Kathleen Gustafson is filling in for the time being.