The Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition inspires Southeast Alaskans and supports community organizations working toward the wise management of our region’s watersheds.
Field Notes - Fall 2017
Updates from SAWC & our partners on the ground:
Symposium Goals: The 2018 Southeast Alaska Watershed Symposium will build capacity to develop collaborative solutions for the restoration and informed management of SEAK’s watersheds. The event will bring together community leaders, NGOs and resource managers from across SEAK to share stories of restoration efforts – successes, techniques, and lessons learned, to network and develop partnerships for collaborative projects, and to provide tools and resources to build the capacity or our region’s land managers to carry out watershed restoration across the Tongass National Forest and its neighboring lands.

Session topics will include collaborative approaches, capacity gaps and how to bridge them, funding opportunities and strategies, and successful restoration in a changing region. If you are interested in sharing your success stories, lessons learned, and ideas for improving restoration in the region, please contact us!

Contact: Rebecca Bellmore at
The SAMF was developed to help facilitate watershed restoration on impacted streams
The Southeast Alaska Mitigation Fund is Approved!
Over the last six years, the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition (SAWC) brought together government agencies, scientists, and community leaders to develop the Southeast Alaska Mitigation Fund, an “In Lieu Fee” mitigation program that offers compensatory mitigation to offset authorized impacts under the Clean Water Act Section 404 program. 
This is an awesome achievement for SAWC, and we are excited for the implementation phase of the Mitigation Fund. The mitigation fund will open up resources to restore degraded wetlands and waterways and provide a tool to help ensure communities develop smartly. We are moving forward slowly and thoughtfully to ensure mitigation dollars for restoration are invested in high quality impactful projects that engage stakeholders and partners. SAWC is putting internal mechanisms in place and hopes to have an update on mitigation opportunities in spring of 2018. 
SAWC would like to thank our partners and funders on this multiyear project that sought to advanced compensatory mitigation in Alaska. With special regards to, the Nature Conservancy- Alaska and Virginia, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Paul Adamus, the Southeast Alaska Land Trust, National Forest Foundation, and the Alaska Conservation Foundation.
For more information, head to our Restoration & Mitigation program page , or contact: Jessica Kayser Forster- SAMF program coordinator, and/or Rob Cadmus-SAWC Executive Director,
Sue Mauger & Molly Kemp measuring water temperature during a training workshop in Klukwan, AK, in May, 2017.
Management Applications of Regional Freshwater Temperature Data
Are you concerned about the impacts climate change may have on your local stream? Do you want to know how stream temperature monitoring could help to inform the way your community's watersheds are managed?

SAWC and our partners have released a white paper that describes the need for freshwater temperature monitoring and ways the data can be used in natural resource management applications, including fisheries management, invasive species control, riparian conditions, fish passage, water quality regulations, and conservation priorities.

View & download the document below:
For more information on the network, including methods, equipment, and data availability, contact Rebecca Bellmore ( ) or visit SAWC’s website
Moby the Mobile Greenhouse Goes To Hoonah
Moby the Mobile Greenhouse is a project hosted by the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition and the Sustainable Southeast Partnership . The goal of Moby is to kickstart greenhouse growing in rural Alaska – it’s a a fun space to get your hands in the dirt and inspire local gardening. The structure was designed by students at the University of Alaska Southeast and built using local lumber by Juneau Douglas High students. Moby comes equipped with raised beds and a curriculum. 
In Hoonah, the Tribe, school, and community members have banded together to use Moby as a stepping stone to further their goals of establishing a year-round, biomass heated greenhouse to feed the community.

Haines Students Build Skills & Grow Lunches Through Hands-On Garden Programs
Takshanuk Watershed Council coordinated the Starvin’ Marvin school garden and an afterschool Garden Club this year to teach kids about growing food and get them engaged in growing healthy produce for school lunches. Elementary students planted seeds in spring, helped tend to growing garden beds, and collected waste materials for composting. Through these programs students experienced the full growing cycle, from planting to harvesting produce that is brought to the school cafeteria to be used in lunches. 
Exploring the Economic Impact of Localizing Vegetable Production in Southeast Alaska

Spruceroot, the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, and the Sustainable Southeast Partnership partnered to analyze the economic opportunity of vegetable production in Southeast Alaska.

Salt & Soil Marketplace Closes out its First Season
The first week of October marked the end of the first summer of Salt & Soil Marketplace operation in the communities of Juneau and Haines. Our first season saw unwavering support and positive response, with over 400 registered customers, 183 different items listed & purchased, and a total of 2,330 units of products sold.

Over the fall and winter the project team will reflect on the pilot year and make adjustments to improve vendor and customers experiences and consider expanding to other Southeast communities. In Spring 2018, the Salt & Soil Marketplace will open again. Next year we hope to remain open longer, leverage more local food businesses by connecting them with a market that has high demand, and expand the reach and accessibility of the marketplace.

Thank you to all who supported the Salt & Soil Marketplace in our first year!
Skagway Students Learn Salmon Life Cycle With 'Salmon In The Classroom'
This August, Taiya Inlet Watershed Council Program Coordinator Nicole Kovacs began teaching Kindergarten through 5 th grade students in the Skagway school about salmon and their environment.

Students will learn about the life cycle of a salmon, anatomy, habitat, benefits to the environment, and what we can do to help salmon thrive in local waterways.

This fall’s program started with an egg take from local pink salmon in Pullen Creek. They salmon will be raised in a tank at the Skagway School for the students to observe as they evolve from tiny red eggs to swimming fry. In March, at the end of the project, the salmon fry will be able to be released back into Pullen Creek.

Water Quality Monitoring Tracks Effectiveness of Restoration on Juneau's Duck Creek
This fall, the Juneau Watershed Partnership will complete the first year of water quality data collection on the Nancy Street wetland and Duck Creek in Juneau.

The data collected will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the constructed wetland in improving water quality conditions on Duck Creek, listed as an impaired waterbody by the State Department of Environmental Conservation since 1992.

The monitoring project is funded by AK DEC’s Alaska Clean Water Actions Grant, with project support from the UAS Environmental Sciences Dept.

Learn more this project at the JWP website , and on the SAWC blog !
SAWC Seeks to Eliminate Invasive Plants in Juneau
This fall, SAWC is taking on two of the most aggressive non-native plants found in Juneau – Bohemian knotweed and reed canarygrass. Knotweed and canarygrass occur throughout the City and Borough of Juneau road system. Once established at a site, these plants quickly outcompete and displace native plant communities. With the permission of property owners and appropriate permits, SAWC staff will apply carefully measured treatment to eradicate identified infestations.

Head to the SAWC blog for more information about this project or to get assistance with an invasive plant problem, contact SAWC restoration biologist John Hudson at
Haines' Sawmill Creek Sees Fish Habitat Improvements:
Wetland Creation Project Improves Water Quality

Takshanuk Watershed Council completed construction on a sediment-retention wetland at the corner of 6 th and Dalton in Haines, with support from the ADEC Alaska Clean Water Actions Program.

This wetland is designed to capture runoff water and allow sediment to settle out before it reaches Sawmill Creek. Sediment has been identified by ADEC and TWC as one of the major concerns threatening the water quality of the urban anadromous stream.

Sawmill Creek is excellent spawning and rearing habitat for Coho salmon, cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden.
Channel Reconstruction Improves Fish Passage

This August, Takshanuk Watershed Council reconstructed 150 feet of channel below a culvert where a Tributary of Sawmill Creek crosses Comstock Road. The culvert, installed in 2012, was designed for adult coastal cutthroat trout and coho salmon connectivity to upper reaches of this first order tributary, previously cut off from anadromous fish utilization for over 30 years.

High flows in recent years have scoured some stream bed materials from the channel downstream of the culvert, exposing culvert construction material and impacting fish passage. The channel reconstruction improves fish passage on the tributary, and was completed with support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.