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Princess Tours gives $100,000 to UAF Marine Advisory Program

Submitted by Carin Stephens
Phone: 907-322-8730

02/10/09

Princess Cruises & Tours has donated $100,000 to the University of Alaska Fairbanks for the support of the Marine Advisory Program. The gift will provide salary and administrative support for MAP agents in several Alaska coastal communities over the course of three years.

The UAF Marine Advisory Program is a statewide marine extension service comprised of advisory agents who live and work in nine coastal communities across Alaska. MAP agents help coastal residents use, conserve and manage the ocean resources that often provide the economic backbone of Alaska's coastal towns and villages.

"This outstanding gift highlights Princess Cruises & Tours' commitment as stewards of our ocean environment," said UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers. "With their high-profile presence in Alaska waters, Princess Cruises & Tours is a strong leader and a prime example of a private company teaming up with the university and Alaska communities to help preserve the things that makes this great state so unique."

Because MAP agents are dependent on external funding for a portion of their salaries, this support from Princess will allow MAP agents to continue working in their communities, despite the current economic climate. MAP agents are currently located in Petersburg, Ketchikan, Juneau, Unalaska, Cordova, Anchorage, Bethel, Kodiak and Nome. In each community, the local MAP agent works to bolster local economies, conserve marine resources and market fisheries and marine businesses.

Princess first approached UAF last year to find a way to support and promote marine conservation in Alaska. When informed about MAP, they decided it was the best way for Princess to directly improve the lives of everyday coastal Alaskans.

"Princess is dedicated to environmental stewardship worldwide - it is the right thing to do and our visitors expect us to protect the land and sea we share with them," said Bruce Bustamante, vice president of community & public affairs for Princess Tours. "Marine and coastal areas are especially important to us. This investment in Alaska simply reflects how important protecting marine waters is to our company."

The donation builds on the company's long tradition of generosity and support for Alaska's university system. Princess Tours supports UAF athletic teams, the University of Alaska Anchorage Culinary Arts Program and other programs.