The watershed of the Kachemak Bay region reflect the area’s dynamic geology and climate. On the north side of the Bay, where the majority of people live, there are broad rolling lowlands with a gentle topography, expansive wetlands, and meandering streams and rivers. In contrast, the watersheds of the south side of Kachemak Bay are dominated by high mountains with icefields, glaciers, thin soils, and few wetlands. Among other services, the watersheds of the area provide nurseries for juvenile salmon, and the quality of these habitats is critical to the survival and continued success of salmon.
KBNERR watershed research projects focus on understanding the ways in which landscape elements, such as alder, peat wetlands, and groundwater flows, support juvenile salmon. These connections between the landscape, rivers, and salmon can be seen from the smallest headwater streams to coastal marine habitats. As climatic changes become apparent, KBNERR watershed products can help inform regional decision making, improve community stewardship of the landscape, and increase salmon resiliency.