Data management funding for the killer whale monitoring project is up for action when the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council meets virtually on Nov. 30, the day after the council’s public advisory committee meets.
The agenda includes a review of funds for the council’s required data management services for the killer whale monitoring project for fiscal year 2023 and the Delta Plan alternatives. The Delta Plan offers several alternatives to ensure financial support for the first five years for all projects funded by the research subaccount that began in fiscal year 2022 through fiscal year 2026.
Links to meeting details, from the agenda and work plan for the data management program to the spending scenarios and Delta Plan alternatives under consideration, are available online at https://evostc.state.ak.us/events/
In its mission statement adopted in 1993, EVOSTC committed to to accomplish restoration “through the development and implementation of a comprehensive interdisciplinary recovery and rehabilitation program that includes” restoration and enhancement of injured resources and affected services, habitat acquisition and protection, and research and monitoring.
In its five-year report, the council referred to this as “a balanced approach, with three areas as the major focus of its mission” and “set in motion the creation of a reserve fund to support ecosystem restoration, research and monitoring over the long term”.
According to the council’s 10-year report, an 18-month public engagement process demonstrated strong support for using the reserve fund to continue “the Council’s two main restoration programs” and the EVOSTC adopted its March 1, 1999, resolution to “place $55 million into a long-term habitat protection program and approximately $115 million [into] a research, monitoring and general restoration program” (emphasis added). Additional funds in the reserve on Exxon’s last payment would go into the research subaccount. The research subaccount was initially funded at $87 million to support research and monitoring efforts, improved resource management tools and methods, and support for “community-based projects, including enhancements to subsistence, educational programs, local stewardship of resources, and other projects that have been an ongoing part of the current restoration program.” It would further support information sharing, public engagement, data management, and administrative obligations.