State wants input on pink salmon disaster fund

State fisheries officials are seeking public comment through Sept. 18 on how to distribute $56.3 million in federal funds allocated for those impacted by the disastrous pink salmon run into Prince William Sound in 2016.

The initial deadline for public comment was Sept. 7, but ADF&G Deputy Commissioner Charles Swanton said on Sept. 5 that the comment period has been extended for an additional 11 days.

The state, in consultation with the Alaska regional office of NOAA, has developed a draft distribution plan for these funds, that will be administered by the Pacific States Marine Commission. State officials announced the open comment period on Aug. 30, saying their intent is to distribute the money to affected parties as soon as possible.

The four categories outlined in the draft spending plan are research, municipalities, fishery participants and processors. The draft distribution plan describes category, eligibility criteria and methods for allocating disaster funds. Now the state wants to hear from affected users and user groups o these elements of the spending plan.

The distribution plan and directions for comment are online at http://alaska.gov/go/D8T3