New stream temperature monitoring sites added in Southeast Alaska

New stream temperature monitoring sites added in Southeast Alaska

Community Watershed Stewardship, Watershed Science
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]
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Restoration community comes together at workshop

Restoration community comes together at workshop

Events, Trainings & Opportunities, Watershed Science
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.
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Assessing the resilience of Southeast Alaska salmon to a shifting freshwater environment

Assessing the resilience of Southeast Alaska salmon to a shifting freshwater environment

Watershed Science
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 rebecca@sawcak.org, or visit the SeaGrant webpage.
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Save the Date! Watershed Restoration Workshop

Save the Date! Watershed Restoration Workshop

Events, Trainings & Opportunities, Watershed Science
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…
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New! Management applications of freshwater temperature data

New! Management applications of freshwater temperature data

Watershed Science
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.
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Water quality and climate change in Southeast Alaska

Water quality and climate change in Southeast Alaska

Watershed Science
SAWC Science Director Rebecca Bellmore visited Whale Pass on July 25 to meet with the Prince of Wales Community Advisory Council. She discussed a potential research project to study the effects of climate change on drinking water quality. Many communities in Southeast Alaska have concerns about high organic matter concentrations in drinking water sources, and increasingly extreme weather events may exacerbate these issues. Analyzing water quality data in the context of historic precipitation data and recently downscaled climate change projections for Alaska could provide some insights into how water quality may change in the future.
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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…
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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…
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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…
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