Pebble Fund Awards 2nd Round of Grants

Eighteen groups, including nonprofits, school districts, youth projects, and village and tribal councils, are set to receive nearly $600,000 in grants from the Pebble Fund – a charitable fund created by the Pebble Partnership and administered by the Alaska Community Foundation. This second cycle of grant awards follows a $1 million contribution made to 33 grant recipients from the Bristol Bay area in March 2009.

It is estimated that the grants awarded via the Pebble Fund have leveraged nearly $10 million dollars in other funding to support projects throughout the region.

“We are extremely pleased with the work of the Pebble Fund board and particularly impressed with how the grant recipients have been able to secure additional funding for projects via the Pebble Fund. As the region continues to face many socioeconomic challenges such as the high cost of fuel, the work done by the board and Pebble Fund is important in helping to make a difference in the lives of Bristol Bay residents,” said John Shively, CEO of the Pebble Partnership.

The Pebble Fund was established in February 2008 as a five-year, $5 million commitment to support communityled initiatives that enhance the health of Bristol Bay fisheries and contribute to a sustainable economic future in southwest Alaska.

“We made a commitment to help the people of the region before we even have a project and adopted the commitment as a core principle in how we will operate. Through the Pebble Fund we are meeting that commitment and we look forward to the work they will undertake during the next grant cycle in the spring,” Shively said.

Grant recipients are selected in a competitive process reviewed by an independent advisory board of leaders from the Bristol Bay region. The advisory committee focuses on four primary areas of interest for Pebble Fund grants: renewable resources/fish, energy, education, and community and economic development. The partnership has a non-voting seat on the board and does not make decisions regarding funding.

Among the projects receiving funding in the latest review process are: the Bristol Bay Elders Action Group’s phase 2 of a community food bank, dock lighting for the City of Egegik, funding to fill a shortfall that helps complete the Nondalton Water Improvements Project, a burn box to facilitate solid waste disposal in Kokhanok and purchase of a service truck for the City of Togiak for repair and maintenance of the city’s sewer lines.

A complete list of awards is attached and is available at the Alaska Community Foundation Web site: www.alaskacf.org. The third cycle of grants will be awarded next spring.

Based in Anchorage, Alaska, the Pebble Partnership was established in July 2007 as a 50:50 partnership between a wholly-owned affiliate of Northern Dynasty and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anglo American plc. The company is exploring the potential to develop a globally significant copper deposit in the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska. The Pebble Project is located on state land designated for mineral exploration and development