Youth Work to Protect Local Resources

This school year Alaska youth are on a mission: to defend wild Alaskan salmon and promote Real Food in their communities.

“We’re not the last ones here, and we’re not the first one’s here. We can’t use everything up!”

National Wildlife Federation’s Alaska Youth for Environmental Action program held a Youth Project Planning Summit this fall to bring teens together and help them learn about issues affecting salmon and food in Alaska.

Teens learned from each other how issues affect their communities differently. Topics ranged from mining (especially Chuitna Coal mine and Pebble mine) to school lunches and from subsistence to local agriculture.

“I was most impacted by learning the differences in how other Alaskan get their food compared to how I get mine” said Ruby Steedle, 15, from Juneau.

“The thing I learned was how bad the salmon are in trouble,” said Jaymes Kelly, 14, from Pilot Station.

Back home in their communities, AYEA’s Youth Organizers are tackling projects to stand up for wild Salmon and Real Food:

Aurora Hoefferle (Dillingham, 17) is creating a documentary showing Dillingham’s cultural history and threats from the proposed Pebble Mine.

Alea Hale and April Norsby (Fairbanks, 14 and 13) are partnering with Calypso Farm and the Ester Library to create a home gardening “Seed Library”.

Follow these youth organizers’ projects at

Staff will be updating the site all year with stories, photos and videos from their lives across Alaska.”

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Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA) inspires and trains diverse youth leaders to impact environmental issues through community action projects and campaigns; skills training in leadership, environmental education, civic engagement, and community organizing; and green jobs that sustain our communities and future.

AYEA is a program of the National Wildlife Federation with nine community chapters around the stateand individual youth members from over fifty communities.

Our mission, first drafted by the 6 youth founders in 1998, is to educate, inspire, and take action on issues facing our diverse communities.

We operate on the values of youth empowerment, sustainability, diversity, justice, healthy environments, and cross-cultural experience.