Alaska gets $21 million in federal disaster funds

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration yesterday announced it is sending Alaska $21 million in federal disaster funds for poor king salmon returns in three regions.

The money covers government-declared disasters for the 2011 and 2012 Chinook runs on the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers, plus the 2012 season in Cook Inlet.

NOAA says it will disperse the money through the federal grant process for projects aimed at restoring the fishery, preventing a future disaster or helping the fishing community.

The funds are from a $75 million appropriation Congress approved last month for fisheries disasters nationwide.