Homer Soil and Water Conservation District

Wetland Portal

Welcome to Homer Soil and Water's two-phase, EPA-funded wetland project:

  • Phase 1: assess the functions and values of Kenai Peninsula wetlands,
  • Phase 2: identify management strategies and recommendations designed to maintain assessed functions and values.

Phase 1: From 2010-2012, Homer Soil and Water led a collaborative effort to identify and assess functions and values of Kenai Peninsula wetlands. Functions are things that wetlands do, like storing stormwater or maintaining streamflows; values are things that society cares about, like healthy fish populations and open space. The two are closely interrelated.

Sixteen wetland functions/values were assessed during Phase 1. Which functions/values were looked at and how they were assessed is described in the Phase report: Kenai Peninsula Wetlands – a Guide for Everyone. To
access the guide, click on its title.

Phase 2: In 2012, Homer Soil and Water began Phase 2 of this project. We are now in the process of identifying management strategies and practices that can be used to maintain the functions/values of particular wetlands.
Three key concepts underly successful wetland management:

  • Consider the whole watershed or subwatershed when deciding how to manage particular wetlands—be aware of watershed-scale patterns that the wetlands fit into and what roles they play in these patterns;
  • Manage to allow for the full range of variability that characterizes natural systems like wetlands and streams—short-term, seasonal, and long-term high flows and low flows are all important;
  • Maintain key connections among the pieces that make up watershed systems—wetlands need to connect to streams; small headwater streams need to connect to bigger mainstem channels. Connections keep watershed systems working.

The links below provide additional background on Phase 1 activities. New links will be added as Phase 2 continues.

Links:

Peninsula Wetlands Illustrated with Photos (pdf)

Kenai Peninsula Wetland Who’s Who
(a linked directory of agencies and organizations involved with wetlands on the Kenai Peninsula, this table links you to a wealth of information about wetlands)

Factsheets about the collaborative 2‐year project:

  • Factsheet 1Introducing a project to assess functions and values of Kenai Peninsula wetlands
    (introduces the project and explains how it got started)
  • Factsheet 2How to look at wetland maps online, and what we’re adding to those maps
    (the map above is an example—different colors indicate different kinds of wetlands)
  • Factsheet 3What do we mean by wetland functions and values?
    (tells you what we mean by words like “functions” and “values” and provides a bit of background)

Presentation to Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on September 20, 2011:
(The two pdfs below cover, in a couple of pages, lots of things it's useful to know about peninsula wetlands including: 
What's the formal definition of a wetland?  How do you find out how "suitable" your wetland is for various land uses?  What might go wrong if you put a "poorly suited" land use on your wetland?  How does this project tie into the Western Kenai Peninsula Soil Survey and existing wetlands maps?  You'll also find a colorful diagram illustrating some wetland functions and values.  The first page of the first pdf also explains what a soil and water conservation district is.)

Descriptions of the method the method we tailored to assess wetland functions and values


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