Coastal Monitoring and Stewardship

Community-based coastal monitoring is a key strategy to address our mission of fostering responsible interactions with our natural surroundings.  We are involved in several programs that share the goal of developing citizen scientists (of all ages) who will become engaged in stewardship of diverse and productive coastal habitats and watersheds.

Requests for NOAA Challenge Grant proposals for Alaskan Community-based Marine Debris Clean-up and Prevention projects now available. February 15, 2009 deadline. Download instructions and application form.

We sponsored the first Alaska Coastal Stewardship Workshop in Homer, Alaska on February 16-18, 2007. Participants received a tool-kit of methods for organizing community monitoring and stewardship programs in the areas of marine debris clean-up and prevention, detection of marine invasives, collection of data on beachcast seabirds and marine mammals, and reporting of unusual biological events related to climate change. The conference also served to develop a community-based network to continue sharing information and working together on solutions to coastal issues. Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like a CD-ROM with all of the conference presentations and resources for community-based coastal monitoring.

KACHEMAK BAY COASTWALK. Now in its 23rd year, we have sponsored the annual shoreline survey effort to document changes in the physical and biological environment of our local shoreliens along with the impacts of human activities. Learn more>>

COMMUNITY-BASED COASTAL MONITORING. The Kachemak Bay CoastWalk program is being developed as a model for community involvement in the Exxon Valdez oil spill restoration program with a focus on the nearshore environment. Learn more>>

BEACH CLEAN-UPS. Removal of litter and marine debris have been an important stewardship activity during the annual CoastWalk. From 2006 through 2010, we have participated in a NOAA grant-funded effort to expand our marine debris clean-up and prevention efforts to other Alaska communities. Learn more>>

MONITORING AND RESPONDING TO CLIMATE CHANGE. In November, 2006, we were the local sponsor of an Alaska Climate Camp to bring together climate change scientists and members of Bering Sea communities where the effects of climate change have become obvious in their effects on subsistence activities and resources. To learn more about the issue and the results of the gathering, go to http://www.climatecampak.org.

Marine Invertebrate and Seaweed Communities. Alaska CoastWatch data collection protocols will include indicators of abundance and diversity of these important biological communities. Protocols will also be developed to report unusual occurrences, observations of suspected marine invasives, and unusual mortality events.

Seabirds. Monitoring beachcast seabirds has provided valuable information on seabird mortality factors to University of Washington scientists studying these important indicators of ecosystem health. We are a local sponsor of a pilot project to expand a long-term, successful citizen-monitoring program from Washington and Oregon to Alaska. To learn more about the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, go to http://www.coasst.org.

Sea Otters. Kachemak Bay is also a key area a mortality study on the northern sea otter. The Alaska CoastWatch program will include data collection protocols for dead sea otters. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides training for volunteers to participate in collection of dead sea otters and their parts for the on-going mortality study.

Click here for additional resources for Alaska Coastal Communities

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