Formed in 1998, ECO seeks to build tribal capacity for scientifically rigorous research activities and to encourage stewardship and conservation of the marine and terrestrial environments around St. Paul Island.
ECO provides diverse services and products for tribal members; St. Paul residents; local, regional, state, and federal partners; and other stakeholders in the Bering Sea. The department has maintained a co-management agreement with NOAA NMFS for the joint management of laaqudan, qawan and isuĝin since 2001.
ECO maintains an environmental program through funding from the EPA Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (IGAP); BIA Subsistence Resource funding; and a variety of competitive grants from a wide range of funding sources.
Visit our resources webpage for our most recent activity!
For 16 years The Aleut Community of St. Paul in Alaska has hired local “Sentinels” to monitor wildlife species and environmental conditions in the Pribilof Islands. This program was subsequently expanded to St. George Island and other Bering Sea and Aleutian Island communities. In 2018 the Sentinel program was adapted for use in monitoring salmon and other species of importance to Yukon River communities in interior Alaska in partnership with the Tanana Chiefs Conference.
The Landscape Conservation Cooperatives are working to help expand this program throughout Alaska and Western Canada, which can complement and support ongoing monitoring efforts, such as the Indigenous Guardians program.
During harvest season please report all subsistence takes of laaqudan (fur seals), qawan (sea lions), and isuĝin (harbor seals), including retrieved and struck and lost to ECO Island Sentinels within 24 – 48 hours, or NMFS on-island representative Jacob Merculief, within two business days.
Paul Melovidov – 901-546-4030
Aaron Lestenkof – 901-546-4450
Jacob Merculief – 901-546-4011
Please arrange with Island Sentinels (or NMFS on-island representative if outside of normal business hours) so that we may collect the snout at the time of retrieval. These data are incredibly valuable.
Island Sentinel Coordinator
Natural Resources Specialist
Indigenous Senentials Coordinator