More Habitat = More Fish.
In 2008, a grassroots effort made up of commercial fishermen, biologists, business leaders, and other stakeholders began what is known today as the Tongass 77 initiative (T77). T77 aims to safeguard over 70 of the most important watersheds in Southeast Alaska for freshwater salmon habitat by establishing development free zones alongside spawning streams. Including waters like the Situk River, Neka Bay and the Arhnklin River, these watersheds contain approximately 23% of all of the cataloged salmon habitat in the Tongass National Forest. Protecting the health of these watersheds will help ensure that wild salmon runs remain strong for future generations of Alaskan commercial fishermen.
T77 has received support from over 7,000 Alaskans, over 3,600 of which live in Southeast, including over 1,600 business leaders.
Fishermen know how critical healthy spawning habitat is for the future of our wild salmon. If passed in Congress, T77 would provide long-term protection for the foundation of the commercial fishing economy in Southeast Alaska - the world class spawning and rearing habitat of the Tongass National Forest.
Of the many dangers facing Alaska's wild salmon population, maintaining prime habitat is one of the few things that managers and stakeholders can control.
The commercial fishing industry are important advocates and leaders in Alaska and in Washington, D.C. With commercial fishermen engaged on T77, and support and collaboration from Senator Murkowski's office and other stakeholders, together we can create a significant and lasting positive impact on the sustainability of our Southeast Alaskan fisheries.