The Juneau Watershed Partnership recently released an updated Jordan Creek Watershed Management Plan and Jordan Creek Riparian Assessment. Jordan Creek flows through Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley, through neighborhoods and heavily developed industrial areas. The stream is home to Coho, Chum, and Pink salmon, but erosion, stormwater runoff, debris (litter), and development in riparian areas are damaging water quality and habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms. SAWC will engage with landowners and the city of Juneau to pursue actions recommended in the Management Plan, including vegetating riparian buffers, exploring stormwater management options, controlling invasive riparian plants, and promoting litter cleanups and continuing to monitor the stream.
Stream temperatures affect the growth, health, and behavior of fish, and as the climate and hydrology of southeast Alaska change, stream temperatures will, too. A network of organizations across the region is monitoring stream temperature to establish baseline conditions and document changes over time. This summer, SAWC and several new organizations, including the Skagway Traditional Council, Wrangell Cooperative Association, and Ketchikan Indian Community established new monitoring locations, and will be contributing data to the regional network. [caption id="attachment_7006" align="aligncenter" width="3600"] Current sites with continuous stream temperature monitoring.[/caption]
The Juneau Watershed Partnership assessed the effectiveness of the constructed Nancy Street Wetland by monitoring water quality above, within, and below the wetland. The final report, which incorporates data from before wetland construction, during the few years following construction, and in 2017, 11 years following construction, can be found here. This project was conducted in partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast and the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition. More information about the Nancy St. Wetland project can be found on the JWP website.
With springtime in full swing in Southeast Alaska, our meadows and forest shrub-layers are greening up as new leaves sprout from twigs and blades of grass poke up from the ground. However, in certain places around Juneau, curious-looking patches of yellow stand out starkly within a sea of fresh green growth. These bright spots are infestations of reed canarygrass, an extremely aggressive invasive plant that is found throughout Juneau and elsewhere in the region. In late summer and early fall, canarygrass transfers energy from above-ground foliage to below-ground rhizomes. Come spring, this stored energy fuels the production of new stems and leaves which rise up through a dense mat of yellow thatch left behind the previous year. By early May, fresh green growth nearly obscures last year's thatch. Reed canarygrass…
Presentations from the 2018 Southeast Alaska Watershed Restoration Workshop are now available on the Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership's webpage! If you were unable to attend or would like to review the material, please check out the posted presentations.
SAWC hosted a regional watershed restoration workshop in Juneau March 5-7 to tackle issues around collaboration, technical capacity, funding, and coping with climate change. Individuals from over 30 organizations and agencies participated, sharing stories of success and lessons learned, and contributing to great discussions about how to move forward to make restoration efforts more successful in the region. A big thanks to the National Forest Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership for supporting the workshop. Presentations will soon be archived and available on SEAKFHP's website.
SAWC is part of a newly-funded Sea Grant project that will assess the resilience of Southeast Alaska salmon to a shifting freshwater environment. Along with researchers from the University of Alaska and the Forest Service, we will work with communities in Southeast Alaska to collect water temperature and flow data in streams that are important for traditional and subsistence use. We will develop a new model that integrates the effects of water temperatures and flows on salmon across their freshwater life stages to help us to better understand how salmon might respond to future changes. To learn more about the project, or if you are interested in participating, contact SAWC Science Director, Rebecca Bellmore firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the SeaGrant webpage.
Stepping up to the plate for collaborative restoration March 5-7, Juneau AK Workshop Goals: The 2018 Southeast Alaska Watershed Restoration Workshop will build capacity to develop collaborative solutions for the restoration and informed management of SEAK’s watersheds. The event will bring together community leaders, NGOs and resource managers from across SEAK to share stories of restoration efforts – successes, techniques, and lessons learned, to network and develop partnerships for collaborative projects, and to provide tools and resources to build the capacity or our region’s land managers to carry out watershed restoration across the Tongass National Forest and its neighboring lands. Session topics will include collaborative approaches, capacity gaps and how to bridge them, funding opportunities and strategies, and successful restoration in a changing region. If you are interested in sharing your…
SAWC is pleased to release "Management Applications of Regional Freshwater Temperature Data for Southeast Alaska," a white paper that describes the need for freshwater temperature monitoring and ways the data can be used in natural resource management applications, including fisheries management, invasive species control, riparian conditions, fish passage, water quality regulations, and conservation priorities. We hope this paper will be useful to network partners and other organizations that are considering monitoring freshwater temperature, as they make decisions about priority activities and consider contributing their information to the larger community of researchers, managers and stakeholders.