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SAWC is taking on invasive plants.

SAWC is taking on invasive plants.

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An invasive plant is defined as a plant species that is non-native (or alien) to an ecosystem and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. The annual cost of invasive plants to the U.S. economy is estimated at $120 billion per year. Despite its remote setting, Southeast Alaska is not immune to invasion by these plants nor the economic and ecological impacts that come with them. In fact, well over 50 invasive plant species in more than 1,000 infestations have been documented in Juneau alone.   Reed canarygrass takes over a stand of fireweed near lower Jordan Creek in Juneau. SAWC is taking on two of the most invasive of these plant species – Bohemian knotweed and reed canarygrass. Knotweed…
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Juneau Native Plant Nursery Supports Local Restoration Projects

Juneau Native Plant Nursery Supports Local Restoration Projects

Aquatic Resource 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.…
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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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Path to Prosperity focuses on Local Foods:  Twelve Entrepreneurs Compete for Award to Grow Business

Path to Prosperity focuses on Local Foods: Twelve Entrepreneurs Compete for Award to Grow Business

Community Food Sustainability
The Path to Prosperity (P2P) business development competition has selected 12 finalists to advance to the second round of the 2017 program. P2P aims to identify and support new and growing small businesses in Southeast Alaska, especially those implementing sustainable practices into their business models.  These businesses’ leadership is key to building social, economic, and environmental resiliency in Southeast Alaskan communities. READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE!  Focused on Food For the 2017 competition, P2P is focused exclusively on Southeast Alaska food businesses. Eligible applicants must be involved in the growing, harvesting, processing, aggregation, preparation or distribution of food. Local food systems and community food security are of critical importance to the region, Spruce Root, TNC, and new P2P sponsor Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition (SAWC).  "Creating access to local foods…
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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 Capacity & Development, 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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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!      
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2016 Petersburg Beach Monitoring Program Results: Sandy Beach Park

2016 Petersburg Beach Monitoring Program Results: Sandy Beach Park

Community Capacity & Development
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…
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