Welcome Christin! SAWC/JWP’s UAS Environmental Science Intern

 

JWP Intern Christin Khasla

We are pleased to announce Christin Khalsa has recently joined the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition (SAWC)/ Juneau Watershed Partnership (JWP) team as a University of Alaska (UAS) Environmental Science Intern. She will be assisting in this year’s monitoring efforts of the Duck Creek Nancy Street Wetland funded by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) through the Alaska Clean Water Actions (ACWA) Program. As part of this project, Christin will be working with JWP and our UAS Environmental Science faculty partners to conduct field measurements and laboratory analysis of a variety of water quality parameters. This data will be used to determine the effectiveness of the Nancy Street Wetland project in improving water quality on Duck Creek.

Christin is a current student at UAS, planning on graduating with a Bachelors in Environmental Science and a minor in Math. Her favorite classes at the UAS were Hydrology, Biogeochemistry, and Mathematical Modeling.  She is grateful to be a part of the continuing study of Duck Creek. She looks forward to continuing her education in water quality assessment or water resource management. She is passionate about understanding watershed systems and being in the woods.

To learn more about the Duck Creek Nancy Street Wetland monitoring project that Christin, JWP, and UAS will be working on, please visit our project website at: http://www.juneauwatersheds.org/programs/wetland.html

A special thanks to our UAS Environmental Science faculty partners Dr. Eran Hood, Dr. Sonia Nagorski, and Dr. Lisa Hoferkamp for their continued advice and support.

Holding up in the Rain: Success on Jordan Creek

In June 2016, a rain garden was constructed at the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida’s property at the Edward K. Thomas building located in the Airport Shopping Center. The rain garden has proven successful in handling its first Juneau rainy season.

The purpose of the rain garden is to capture and infiltrate the pollutant-laden stormwater that flows across the parking lot before it enters Jordan Creek. Stormwater is a concern for Jordan Creek because it is listed as an Impaired Water Body by the State of Alaska for non-attainment of sediment, dissolved oxygen, and residue (debris) standards, and urban stormwater run-off is identified as the major source of pollution.

The rain garden was designed to handle 1.51 inches of rain over a 24-hour period. However, the rock swale that provides a stabilized flow path and inlet into the rain garden has been effective in infiltrating most rainfall events before the water even makes its way into the rain garden (Photo 1 and 2).

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Photo 1. Rock swale during a rain event on 11/29/2016. Rainfall totaled 1.42 inches that day.

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Photo 2. The rain garden during a rain event on 11/29/2016. Rainfall totaled 1.42 inches that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Larger storms do make their way into the rain garden. A large storm in September 2016 topped the rain garden and stormwater had to discharge through the overflow outlet rather than infiltrate into the ground as intended (Photos 3 and 4). However, this storm was over an inch greater than the design storm.

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Photo 3. The rock swale during a rain event on 9/9/2016. Rainfall totaled 2.69 inches that day.

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Photo 4. The rain garden during a rain event on 9/9/2016. Rainfall totaled 2.69 inches that day.

The rain garden was funded by the Alaska Clean Water Actions (ACWA) Grant Program administered by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities Grant.

If you would like more information about the rain garden project, please see our project website at http://www.juneauwatersheds.org/programs/stormwater/raingarden.html or contact JWP via email at juneauwatersheds@gmail.com.

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS, WITHOUT WHO THIS PROJECT WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE:

Central Council of Tlingit and Haida, for their overall project support

SOURCE, LLC, for donating staff and equipment time in construction

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for project funding support

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for continued project advice and guidance

Trout Unlimited and Wells Fargo, for recruiting volunteers for installation of the fence and planting

All volunteers who participated

A Rain Garden for Jordan Creek

Saturday, June 11, 2016, the Juneau Watershed Partnership (JWP), the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition (SAWC) and a handful of volunteers planted a rain garden built on the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida’s property at the Edward K. Thomas building located in the Airport Shopping Center. Volunteers planted a variety of native plants including willow (Salix species), lady ferns (Athyrium felix-femina), Alaska wild iris (Iris setosa), Tuft hair grass (Deschampsia cespitosa), Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), and Red twig dogwood (Cornus sericea). The purpose of the rain garden is to capture and infiltrate the pollutant-laden stormwater that flows across the parking lot before it enters Jordan Creek (see Photo 1 below). Stormwater is a concern for Jordan Creek because it is listed as an Impaired Water Body by the State of Alaska for non-attainment of sediment, dissolved oxygen, and residue (debris) standards, and urban stormwater run-off is identified as the major source of pollution.

Runoff from Site

Photo 1. Stormwater run-off from the Edward K Thomas Building parking lot, prior to construction of the rain garden.

This project was the culmination of several years of work. The need for stormwater treatment at this location was originally identified in a stormwater inventory and assessment for the Lower Jordan Creek watershed conducted in 2012-2013 by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the JWP. The recommendations for this site were to:

  • Construct an infiltration basin on a portion of the gravel parking area to promote stormwater infiltration and trap sediment and other pollutants before they reach the stream.
  • Pave the remaining portion of the gravel parking area to eliminate sediment sources.
  • Use fencing to establish a 25 foot wide riparian setback from the outfall upstream to Glacier Highway to protect riparian area.

In 2014, the USFWS and JWP approached the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida (CCTHITA) with the idea of constructing a rain garden and installing a snow barrier fence to address two of the three recommendations; CCTHITA supported the idea.

The JWP subsequently listed the Edward K Thomas Building Stormwater Treatment project in the compilation of restoration, enhancement and mitigation measures for Juneau’s watersheds developed under a Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) grant. The JWP identified the Edward K Thomas Building Stormwater Treatment project as a high priority for the Jordan Creek watershed due to the benefits, land-owner buy-in, feasibility in construction, and ability to obtain funding, and developed a conceptual design for the project under the CIAP grant in order to facilitate its implementation.

The JWP then partnered with SAWC and CCTHITA to pursue funding for the construction of the stormwater treatment and the snow barrier fence. In 2015, funding was secured from the Alaska Clean Water Actions (ACWA) Grant Program administered by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities Grant.

The construction of the snow barrier fence  was completed in the fall of 2015 (Photo 2) and construction of the rain garden was completed this month (Photo 3).

However, there are still a few finishing touches that remain. The JWP will install an interpretive sign near the rain garden to make the public aware of the project and explain its water quality benefits, and barriers will be placed to protect the rain garden from truck traffic. If you would like more information about the rain garden project, please see our project website at http://www.juneauwatersheds.org/programs/stormwater/raingarden.html or contact JWP via email at juneauwatersheds@gmail.com.

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS, WITHOUT WHO THIS PROJECT WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE:

Central Council of Tlingit and Haida, for their overall project support

SOURCE, LLC, for donating staff and equipment time in construction

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for project funding support

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for continued project advice and guidance

Trout Unlimited and Wells Fargo, for recruiting volunteers for installation of the fence and planting

All volunteers who participated

JWP, SAWC awarded ACWA Grant!

The Juneau Watershed Partnership (JWP) in cooperation with 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 first year of the project was funded at $9,997.

The project officially starts July 1, but water quality monitoring is not anticipated to begin until spring 2017. Prior to beginning monitoring, the JWP will work with the DEC to develop a monitoring plan and quality assurance project plan, which will ensure the integrity of our methodology and monitoring data.

The JWP and SAWC will be partnering with the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Environmental Sciences Department to collect and analyze the water quality samples by employing an undergraduate student to do much of the work under supervision, allowing them to gain experience. The student will be selected prior to the field season and will be provided a small stipend from the ACWA grant funds. Drs. Eran Hood, Sonia Nagorski, and Lisa Hoferkamp have generously donated their time and use of UAS equipment and laboratory space as part of the required grant match to accomplish this project.

This project addresses an ACWA Restoration priority. Since 1994, Duck Creek has been listed as an impaired waterbody by the DEC. In order to improve conditions, many restoration projects have been completed along Duck Creek including culvert replacement, streambank stabilizations, revegetation projects, and creation of wetlands. The Nancy Street wetland was one such project.

The Nancy Street wetland was once a gravel extraction pond, which resulted from gravel extraction from the area in the 1950s and 60s to support development of the Mendenhall Valley. In the late 1990s, the Nancy Street pond and other gravel extraction ponds (the Church of the Nazarene, Alison, and Forest Service ponds) were noted to have enhancement potential in the Juneau Wetlands Management Plan, making them a focal point for restoration efforts.

The Church of the Nazarene pond was converted into a wetland in 1998 and the Nancy Street pond followed in 2006. However, like many restoration projects throughout Juneau, little to no water quality monitoring tracked the success of the restoration of these gravel ponds. Water quality monitoring is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the Nancy Street Wetland restoration efforts.

Fortunately, water quality data was collected in 2005 and 2006 by UAS at the outflow of the Nancy Street pond prior to its conversion into wetland. The same outflow site will be monitored during this project, allowing comparison of data before and after the restoration efforts. This will better inform the evaluation of the Nancy Street wetland.

The JWP will be providing more information about the monitoring efforts and the Nancy Street wetland as the project progresses.

Juneau Clean Sweep Success!

This year, Juneau celebrated 100 years of community-wide clean up efforts. The tradition has its beginnings in a 1916, when Mayor B.D. Stewart announced “…a clean-up campaign should be inaugurated and that the papers and citizens in general should cooperate in the matter of urging the cleaning up of the entire city.” Leading the charge over the last 30 decades, the non-profit Litter Free has been organizing annual community-wide clean up events since becoming established in 1985.

To celebrate this historic event, Litter Free worked with the Downtown Improvement Group (DIG), the Southeast Alaska Land (SEAL) Trust, Capital Disposal, and Waste Management to coordinate three separate clean-up efforts over three weekends in April to provide a focused spring clean-up effort, or the “Juneau Clean Sweep.”

The first Clean Sweep event took place on April 15th, with the DIG’s volunteers focusing on the Downtown Juneau area. During the second event on April 23rd the SEAL Trust’s volunteers tackled the Mendenhall Wetlands. The final event was the annual Litter Free community-wide clean up on April 30th.

Juneau Clean Sweep volunteers picked up 12.33 tons of garbage. To put this into perspective, a walrus can weigh up to 2 tons – – so that’s equivalent to six walruses!

To show our appreciation, volunteers on April 30th were treated to a free BBQ hosted by the Juneau Watershed Partnership (JWP) and Duck Creek Market. The JWP partners with Litter Free during these events to increase awareness about litter and its impacts on our local waterways. For more information about how to “Slash the Trash” or upcoming clean-up events, please visit our website at: http://www.juneauwatersheds.org/STT.html

JWP PicnicFor more information about Litter Free, please see their website: http://www.litterfree.org/

Also, please thank and support the people and businesses that made the Juneau Clean Sweep possible:

2016 Contributors

Spotlight Club

Waste Management/Capital Disposal; Alcohol Bev Retailers Assoc – Juneau Lynn Canal CHARR; ALPAR; AXA Advisors, Stellar Financial Services; City and Borough of Juneau; Delta Western; Fred Meyer; Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway; Juneau Empire – Morris Group; Logan General Tax Practice; Lynden Transport; McDonalds of Juneau; Princess Cruises; Sealaska Corporation; Space Unlimited, Inc.; The Alaska Club

Benefactor

AJT Mining Properties, Inc.; Alaska Cache Liquor Inc.; Bauer/Clifton Interiors; Baxter Bruce & Sullivan P.C.; Bill Beebe; Carson Dorn, Inc.; Denali Federal Credit Union; Elgee Rehfeld Mertz, LLC; Elliott Financial Management; Foodland IGA; Glacier Optical of Juneau, Inc.; IBEW Local 1547; Kathleen Gamble; Knights of Columbus; Laurie & Mike Sica; Northwind Architects; Shattuck & Grummett, Inc.; Southeast Panhandlers; Tongass Regional Eye Clinic; Triangle Club Inc.; Trucano Construction Company; Wilson Engineering Inc.

Sponsor

Auke Bay Cans; Benjamin Gilbert, DDS; Constance Trollan; Diana & James Reid; Family Practice Physicians, Inc.; Faulkner Banfield, P.C.; Glacier Pediatrics, LLC; James & Dorothy Wilson; Jeffrey & Susan Sloss; Jerry’s Meats & Seafood; Key Bookkeeping; Laura Lucas Design; Lisa Rollin and Ed McKrill; MRV Architects PC; Porta Shop Crane & Storage Rental; Western Auto – Marine; You’re the BOSS, Office Support Services

Contributor

Mindy Shaw, DDS; Valley Auto Parts Alaska

Bag Haulers

Alaska Commercial Contractors, Inc.; Alaska Concrete Casting; Alaska Marine Trucking; Alaska Renovators, Inc.; BCD Construction; CBJ Parks and Recreation; Channel Construction; Coogan Construction; Delta Western; Gary Murdoch; IBEW; Jim Penor; US Forest Service

Use of Bag Site

Auke Bay – former UAS Student Bookstore; Delta Western; Douglas Fire Station; Duck Creek Market; Fred Meyer; Foodland IGA; Lyles – Jensens Home Furnishings, Inc.; Lynn Canal Fire Station; Super Bear Supermarket; Western Auto-Marine

Additional Support From

AEL&P Co. – William Boatman, Website Support; Alaskan Brewery; Dave Hanna; D&S Recycling; Downtown Improvement Group; Duck Creek Market; friends of recycling; Jack Manning; Juneau School District kids; Juneau Radio Center; Juneau Watershed Partnership; KTOO Radio; Les Schwab Tires-Shaub-Ellison; Mark Stopha; Mungle and Associates; Pacific Waste; Paul Thomas; Pixel & Plume; Southeast Alaska Land Trust; U.S. Forest Service; Trent Wilson

Mendenhall Lake Streams Restoration

IMG_20160508_131246The Habitat Improvement Committee of Juneau’s Trout Unlimited (TU) chapter in cooperation with U.S. Forest Service (USFS) recently completed a restoration project on the small streams entering the East side of Mendenhall Lake, in Juneau, AK. The project consisted of the following improvements:

  • Upgrading one main crossing at each of two streams with large, flat, stable stepping stones
  • Adding willows near the banks of two streams
  • Stablizing eroded streambanks using the toe-wood sod mat method
  • Discourage other crossing areas by the placement of rocks and vegetation

Work was completed over two Saturdays, April 9th and 16th, with the help of TU members, USFS staff, volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard District 17, and other community volunteers. About 20 volunteers worked both days. The JWP Project Coordinator, Amy Sumner, and Board member, Teri Camery, were among the volunteers that assisted with the project.

The project was inspired by a video posted by Bob Armstrong showing sticklebacks and juvenile coho in one of those drainages (https://vimeo.com/130598489).   Armstrong also saw juvenile sockeyes downstream from where he took the video showing cohos.

Discussions with Armstrong, and observations of the area by TU Habitat Improvement Committee members, indicated that the rearing habitat for first year coho was being degraded by the many foot paths crossing these small streams. Unchecked foot traffic impacted stream banks, increased sediment, and disrupted fish.

A slideshow about this recent habitat and trail upgrade project will be featured at the next Raincountry Flyfishers meeting held in the Thunder Mountain High School library Wednesday May 11, at 7PM.  The library is on the second floor near the entrance closest to the baseball field. The meeting is free and open to the public.

4th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival was a success – thanks to YOU!

The mission of our annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival is to inspire our community to step outside, appreciate and participate. The environmental and adventure films shown in February 2013 illustrated the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet and the work communities are doing to protect the environment.

Festival-goers got to see award winning films about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water and climate change combining stellar film making and beautiful cinematography. The first-rate storytelling informed, inspired and ignited solutions and possibilities to restore the earth and communities – at all ages – while creating a positive future for the next generation.

Thank you Juneau for making this year’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival our largest festival yet!

Be watching for our next Festival in January 2014!

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Wild & Scenic Film Festival on February 23, 2013

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The Juneau Watershed Partnership presents our 4th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival held at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center (JACC) on February 23, 2013.

This year our event features a Children’s Festival from 04:00 pm to 06:30 pm, the Main Film Festival from 06:30 pm to 09:30 pm and a silent auction that will be available for bidding during both periods of the festival.

Some of the great items at our Silent Auction include:

–Icefield Excursions with Coastal Helicopters
–A Weekend Private Cabin stay on Shelter Island
–Private Fishing Charter for Salmon & Halibut
–Paintings from Local Artists
–Eaglecrest 5-day Ski Pass
–Tickets to the Juneau Symphony and Perseverance Theatre
–Outdoor gear
–And more to come!

Tickets for the event are $12 for adults, $8 for students/under 17 and seniors (children under 3 are free), or $30 for a ticket to the film festival and a 1-year membership to the Juneau Watershed Partnership.

There will be a beer garden at the event for 21 and over during the Main Festival, and other food and beverages will also be available for purchase.

For more information about this event and the films we will be showing, follow the link off of our home page!

We hope to see you there!