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…
SAWC received two grants this winter that will support efforts to manage high priority invasive plants that threaten watershed health in our region. The Copper River Watershed Project awarded SAWC an invasive plant mini-grant to control invasive knotweed in Juneau and Petersburg starting in 2018. SAWC restoration biologist John Hudson spent the fall of 2017 outreaching to numerous Juneau landowners, including those waging unsuccessful battles to eradicate the aggressive quick-spreading plant and other who were oblivious to the knotweed growing on their properties. In all, ten private landowners in Juneau committed cash to support herbicide control of 2.3 acres of knotweed. In addition to providing critical non-federal cash match for the grant, these private funds will support control efforts for two years after the grant period ends in December 2018…
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.