NOAA Officials Meet With Local Tribal Representatives

MARTHA’S VINEYARD – NOAA’s North Atlantic Regional Team traveled to Martha’s Vineyard last month to keep local Native American tribes up to date on the agency’s work and mission.

More than 120 participants representing eight New England tribes met at the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribal Community Center to discuss preserving cultural practice through environmental protection.

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the American Indian Environmental Office discussed a variety of topics relevant to the tribes, from programs and budgets to federal regulations.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe was among a group which signed the EPA-Tribal Environmental Plan.

Other activities included a tour of tribal lands, and an artists’ panel on the importance of environmental resources for cultural use. Native artists also displayed and sold their work.

During the summit tribal elders and youth held a roundtable discussion on preserving cultural heritage through environmental protection. Other topics included discussion of the Northeast Ocean Plan, an update on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service programs, and a roundtable on water quality issues with scientists from the EPA and MIT.

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