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.

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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.