Monitoring @ Nancy St. Wetland

The Juneau Watershed Partnership (JWP) as part of 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 began July 1, 2016 with the JWP working with the DEC to develop a monitoring plan and quality assurance project plan, which ensures the integrity of our monitoring methodology and  data. Water quality monitoring began Friday, April 17th and will occur every other Friday through October (pending FFY 18 funding).

NSb DO 4-28-2017

Environmental Science Intern, Christin Khalsa, collecting dissolved oxygen measurements at the Nancy St. wetland.

To complete the monitoring, the JWP and SAWC is 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 valuable experience. The student selected was Christin Khalsa, who is working on her Bachelors in Environmental Science with a minor in Math. Christin will be provided a stipend from the ACWA grant funds for her time working on the project. Drs. Eran Hood, Sonia Nagorski, and Lisa Hoferkamp have also 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 between July 2004 and March 2008 by UAS at the outflow of the Nancy Street pond prior and just after 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 provide more information about the Nancy Street wetland monitoring efforts as the project progresses. The JWP invites neighbors with questions to email us at juneauwatersheds@gmail.com or to visit the project website at http://www.juneauwatersheds.org/programs/wetland.html.

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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.

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.

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!

New Issue of Water Ways newsletter released by the JWP

Water Ways is a publication issued by the Juneau Watershed Partnership that highlights current JWP projects and upcoming news and events. The latest December 2012 version of Water Ways can be found here:

2012_12 JWP Water Ways

Previous issues of Water Ways can be found on our website, or by following this link: http://www.juneauwatersheds.org/waterways.html