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Igiugig Awarded Grant for Tugboat, Second ANA Grant in 2015

Written by Renée Grounds on .

The grant titled Igiugig Village Economic Sustainability Project will be used to purchase a tugboat and train four local operators. This funding opportunity is offered by the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), an agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Igiugig also recently received a three-year ANA Language Grant to revitalize Yup’ik. Igiugig Village is one of three organizations nationwide to receive a second ANA grant this year.

The project will continue the village’s efforts to advance towards a sustainable local economy, creating jobs and training the local workforce. The remote village has been solely dependent on outside companies to barge goods, and at a high cost. This project will empower the village to barge its own goods across Lake Iliamna and engage in other opportunities to generate revenue. Terek Anelon will be the Project Coordinator with his extensive experience as a boat captain, barging goods in the region.

The tugboat will also be used to implement Igiugig’s renewable energy projects, including the RivGen® hydrokinetic energy device. The tugboat will deploy and maintain the device in the Kvichak River and help displace the use of diesel fuel for the village’s electricity and heating needs. Ocean Renewable Power Company wrote a letter of the support for the project, stating that “IVC seeks to lower energy costs and lower environmental risks by utilizing a local, renewable energy source…with zero carbon emissions. The tug is a critical component of their sustainability efforts by reducing the risks and costs associated with operation and maintenance.”

On October 16, ANA Commissioner, Lillian Sparks Robinson, released an article highlighting the importance of Igiugig’s project:

“Igiugig is a remote village without a grocery store or roads leading to any other village or town. The village is solely reliant on outside companies to bring in food, fuel and supplies. Residents currently pay steep rates, such as $1 per pound shipping for all goods, $7.33 a gallon for fuel, and $0.805 per kilowatt hour for electricity. Located at the southern end of Lake Iliamna, companies must make a special trip to serve Igiugig…This new grant will address that situation by purchasing a tug/push boat and training residents to operate the boat.” (excerpts from grant application)

Igiugig’s project was selected as one of five grantees, out of 29 applicants in the category for Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS) for Alaska. These grants focus on building capacity, infrastructure, and economic growth. Visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ana for more information.

 Barge Route Map by Jiles Pourier