Community, Commerce, and Conservation in Southeast Alaska 

We can look at Southeast Alaska—from the mountaintops to the open ocean—as a single, vast, highly productive watershed. Everything is tightly interconnected: the land and waters, vegetation and wildlife, resources and economies, cultures and ways of life.  

For the communities of Alaska’s Panhandle, this great natural ecosystem functions as a richly endowed bank, providing natural capital that is essential to the regional economy.  

Unlike ordinary business enterprises, this ecosystem bank requires no human input, no equipment, and no built infrastructure of any kind, yet it produces over a billion dollars worth of fish and other sea foods every year, harvested from Southeast Alaska’s waters. 

The ecosystem bank is also infinitely sustainable, as long as its resources are harvested responsibly and we assure that the environment remains healthy and productive. 

The goal of SEABANK is to make people aware of Southeast Alaska’s natural bank, to measure the huge annual capital that it provides, to highlight its value to the shareholders, and to help safeguard its future. 

SEABANK is a diverse nexus of individuals, scientists, organizations and businesses that wish to share the untold story of Southeast Alaska’s ecological wealth and promote the region’s natural products that support the livelihoods of our communities. We are a growing hub of scientific and economic information that pertains to the marine environment of Southeast Alaska, and a marketplace for the region's sustainable products.

Our Team

Sam Skaggs is a registered investment advisor with 30 years’ experience managing portfolios and giving financial advice to individuals and organizations in Alaska, dba Verdant, LLC now based in Sitka. Skaggs is also the President of the Skaggs Foundation, a small family foundation that has been funding conservation projects and helping to build community in Alaska since 1988.   

Richard Nelson is a cultural anthropologist who lived for years in Alaska native communities, documenting subsistence ways of life and traditions. A former Writer Laureate of Alaska, his books include Make Prayers to the Raven, Hunters of the Northern Ice, Shadow of the Hunter, Heart and Blood: Living with Deer in America, and The Island Within.  Richard also wrote and narrated Encounters, a nationally broadcast Public Radio program about the natural environment. In addition, he works professionally as an field audio recordist. A longtime resident of Sitka, Richard is passionately interested in the natural world, subsistence living, and the ways that people connect to their environment—above all through fish and fishing. 

Liz McKenzie is an award-wining writer and filmmaker based in Sitka, Alaska. Her work focuses on the nature, science and traditional ecological knowledge of Alaska. Her projects have been supported by various organizations including NOAA, the North Pacific Research Board, the Educational Foundation of America, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Encounters: Radio Experiences of the North. Her films have been featured at numerous film festivals and conferences throughout the United States and internationally, including the Wildlife Vaasa Nature Film Festival, the Colorado Environmental Film Festival, the American Geophysical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Alaska Geographic Ocean Film Festival, the Explorer’s Club Polar Film Festival and the American Documentary Film Festival.