Preparing for Alaska's Changing Landscape

Kachemak Bay is one of Alaska’s most productive, diverse, and intensively-used estuaries. It is also one of the most vulnerable. Local ice fields are melting rapidly, while at the same time the coast continues to experience coastal uplift from a powerful earthquake that rocked the area in 1964. Estimates for sea level rise are lacking, and many local communities are established on land that is vulnerable to erosion and inundation. To plan for a future in this uncertain landscape, these communities need to understand the implications of coastal uplift and sea level rise in this area. To help meet that need, the Kachemak Bay Reserve led a team to assess changes in land and sea levels in the coastal landscape and monitor the impacts of coastal uplift, glacial melt, and sea level rise on the Bay’s biological communities.