The Southeast Alaska Mitigation Fund is Approved! 

The Southeast Alaska Mitigation Fund is Approved! 

Restoration & Mitigation
Our wetlands and waterways provide unparalleled services to humans and the environment.  Well known for harboring amazing biodiversity, wetlands play a critical role in the water cycle by naturally filtering and regulating the flow of water, helping clean water, controlling flooding, and preventing drought in dryer climates.  In much of the world, these “ecosystem services” have been undervalued.   It is estimated that since 1900 approximately 64-71% of the world’s wetlands have been lost (Davidson, 2014), with the drivers of this decline coming from intensive agricultural production, urbanization, irrigation, pollution, etc. (TEEB, 2013).  The loss has real consequence, not only for fish and wildlife but for the livelihoods and probability of businesses that can be affected by flooding, drought, and poor water quality. Here in Southeast Alaska, we are lucky to…
Read More
Water Quality Monitoring Tracks Effectiveness of Restoration on Juneau’s Duck Creek

Water Quality Monitoring Tracks Effectiveness of Restoration on Juneau’s Duck Creek

Community Watershed Stewardship
The Juneau Watershed Partnership (JWP) as part of the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition (SAWC) was awarded a two-year grant through the Alaska Clean Waters Actions (ACWA) Grant Program administered through the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to monitor the Nancy Street wetland on Duck Creek in Juneau. The purpose of the monitoring is to collect water quality data to evaluate the effectiveness of the wetland in improving water quality conditions on Duck Creek. The project began July 1, 2016 with the JWP working with the DEC to develop a monitoring plan and quality assurance project plan, which ensures the integrity of our monitoring methodology and data. Water quality monitoring began Friday, April 17th and will wrap up in October 2017. A report on the results of the monitoring will be…
Read More
Skagway Students Learn Salmon Life Cycle Hands-On Through Salmon In The Classroom

Skagway Students Learn Salmon Life Cycle Hands-On Through Salmon In The Classroom

Community Watershed Stewardship
Skagway's Taiya Inlet Watershed Council wrapped up another great year of Salmon in the Classroom in April and is just starting up another year of the project. In January of 2017 TIWC received over 200 eyed coho salmon eggs from DIPAC Hatchery in Juneau, AK for the Salmon in the Classroom project. They were raised in a tank in the Skagway School hallway for the students to observe as they evolved from tiny red eggs to swimming fry. TIWC Program Coordinator, Nicole Kovacs, taught Kindergarten through 5th grade students in the Skagway school about salmon and their environment. Students learned about the life cycle of a salmon, habitat, benefits to the environment, and what we can do to help salmon. They also talked about the internal and external anatomy of our…
Read More
Juneau Native Plant Nursery Supports Local Restoration Projects

Juneau Native Plant Nursery Supports Local Restoration Projects

Restoration & Mitigation
  Willow and cottonwood trees at SAWC's native plant nursery in Juneau are thriving this summer thanks to an abundance of rain, and occasional sunshine, in Juneau. The nursery hosts more than 300 trees, each one started from a portion of a branch "borrowed" from wild trees in early spring. These sticks, called dormant cuttings, are placed upright in soil-filled pots. The moist soil stimulates the bark to quickly produce roots, known as adventitious roots, and a few weeks later numerous new branches sprout from the cutting above the soil surface. By summer's end the cuttings have transformed into bushy little trees. SAWC and its partners plant these trees at restoration sites around Juneau where they stabilize soil, shade streams, and provide food and habitat for countless creatures, large and small.…
Read More
Petersburg Beach Program Completes Second Year of Recreational Beach Monitoring

Petersburg Beach Program Completes Second Year of Recreational Beach Monitoring

Community Watershed Stewardship, Watershed Science
SAWC and our partners at the Petersburg Indian Association have completed the second and final year of recreational beach monitoring at Sandy Beach Park in Petersburg. Funded by the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Clean Water Actions Grant, the 2-year program collected weekly water samples during the high-use spring and summer seasons to be tested for the presence of harmful bacteria. In the event of a bacterial presence above EPA water quality standards, the community could be notified of public health risks and informed once the water was again safe to recreate. A final report outlining year two of the Petersburg Beach Program is available for viewing and download below: [gview file="http://www.alaskawatershedcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/17-B01_Final_Report_PSG_Beach.pdf"]   This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States EPA under…
Read More
Hooligan Study Aims to Understand Population Trends & Climate Adaptation

Hooligan Study Aims to Understand Population Trends & Climate Adaptation

Watershed Science
Takshanuk Watershed Council is into their seventh year monitoring hooligan (Eulachon, or Saak) populations in Northern Lynn Canal, in partnership with the Chilkoot Indian Association and Oregon State University. This year continues a mark-recapture study on the Chilkoot River, and expands environmental DNA (eDNA) population studies to the Chilkat, Ferebee, Taiya, Katzehin, Lace, Antler, and Berners Rivers. Takshanuk and project partners hope to gain a better understanding of the species’ population trends and adaptations to climate change by examining the population at a larger regional scale. A relatively new technique, eDNA allows researchers to sample water for minute traces of a species’ DNA, from shed skin, scales, fecal matter, or reproductive material. Testing these samples using methods similar to those used in the fields of forensics and medicine, researchers can…
Read More
Climate Adaptation Workshop Brings Together Tribes & Communities to Monitor Changes in Fish Habitat

Climate Adaptation Workshop Brings Together Tribes & Communities to Monitor Changes in Fish Habitat

Watershed Science
Southeast Alaska's streams and rivers are important breeding and rearing grounds for salmon harvested by subsistence, sport, and commercial fishermen. Recent closures of major rivers and streams to fishing due to reduced salmon populations have fisheries managers and users alike looking for ways to monitor and understand environmental factors that could be contributing to declining salmon runs in Southeast.  In an effort to better understand and respond to the effects of climate change on stream and river systems, some Southeast Alaska communities and management agencies have begun monitoring temperatures of their local aquatic systems. Water temperature is one of the most significant factors in the health of stream ecosystems, where it affects the growth and survival of algae, aquatic plants, invertebrates, and fish. Salmon have evolved in natural river and stream systems, where water temperatures…
Read More
Growing Produce in Southeast Alaska: Economic Opportunities in the Last Frontier

Growing Produce in Southeast Alaska: Economic Opportunities in the Last Frontier

Community Food Sustainability
Most of us know that supporting local business and localizing our food system is important, but just how big of an impact could a local food economy have for Southeast Alaska? Members of the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, Spruce Root Community Development, Grow Southeast, and the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition partnered to produce a study on the economic impacts of localizing vegetable production in Southeast Alaska. Check out the handy infographic below, and read the full report here!      
Read More
2016 Petersburg Beach Monitoring Program Results: Sandy Beach Park

2016 Petersburg Beach Monitoring Program Results: Sandy Beach Park

Community Watershed Stewardship
Last summer the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition (SAWC) in partnership with the Petersburg Indian Association continued a second year of recreational beach monitoring to test a popular local beach for levels of harmful bacteria. With support from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Petersburg Beach program sampled waters at Sandy Beach Park for organisms that indicate fecal contamination. The Beach Program was established by the Alaska DEC through the Alaska Clean Water Actions program to provide support for communities to begin monitoring marine water quality at high-priority beaches for bacterial pollution, specifically, fecal coliform and enterococci.  A partnership between the State of Alaska’s Departments of Environmental Conservation, Fish & Game, and Natural Resources, ACWA was created to characterize Alaska’s waters in a holistic manner, and facilitate the sharing…
Read More
How to be a “Stream Friendly” Landowner

How to be a “Stream Friendly” Landowner

Community Watershed Stewardship
There are hundreds of salmon streams throughout Southeast Alaska and chances are likley that you live next to or close to one of them! The Juneau Watershed Partnership has created a handy brochure to help streamside landowners be good neighbors to their stream-dwelling friends. The brochure has some helpful information for Juneau-specific streams, and tips that apply to streams through Southeast Alaska. Streamside landowners play a critical role in protecting and maintaining the high quality of water and habitat our salmon and wildlife populations need to thrive. Being "stream-friendly" means making choices that minimize impacts to our creeks, streams, rivers and lakes. The pay off is clean drinking water, healthy and functioning fish and wildlife habitat, and sustained fish and wildlife populations. Check out the Juneau Watershed Partnership's brochure, "…
Read More