AWC Heading

Taking Action on Community Issues

 

Waterway watchers in the community--YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!

UAA Conservation Biology 473 Students Help Collect Monofilament As Class Project, April 2017

In April 2017, Dr. Audrey Taylor's Conservation Biology class helped Anchorage Waterways Council collect monofilament and fishing gear from 21 bins that have been placed around the Municipality. Besides collecting the debris that endangers humans, fish, and wildlife, the students evaluated the bins for repair as well as whether or not they were still in place.  One group of her students made a fantastic video that tells the whole story.  Thank you Dj Tyson, Rachel Gingras, Rachel Kelty, Andrea Parrott, Samantha Beaman and Dr. Taylor. This link will take you to their video.  

 

Almost every week AWC receives a call, email or online report from a member or a local citizen who sees something that just doesn't look right.  We can do several things:  take the information, assess who might have jurisdiction (and there are many different agencies in the community so it's often not easy to figure out), and provide you with contacts.  Or, if it sounds serious and urgent--we can sometimes visit or send a board member to view the site.  One of the most helpful things you can do is take a picture, because often the events are episodic.  They last for an hour and then wash away.  That doesn't mean they aren't harmful, it just means that by the time a team is mobilized the situation may be over.  Keep up the good work.

There are so many different issues happening that it has become nearly impossible to log them all on the website in a timely fashion.  For some things we may post them on our Facebook page (Anchorage Waterways Council) in order to spread the word.  Unfortunately, we are only scratching the surface of what happens in Anchorage that is not always good for our waterways.

Instead, AWC is going to highlight a couple of projects that we are currently working on to improve the health of creeks, birds, wildlife, waterfowl, fish, and humans.                                                       

MONOFILAMENT COLLECTION AND RECYCLING

Finding miles and miles of monofilament line on the ground near popular fish spots in the "Bowl" is  a huge problem.  Monofilament line, hooks, lures, weights, and other associated paraphernalia on creek and lake banks can cause injury or be a death sentence for birds, fish, and other wildlife.  Beginning in fall 2014 with United Way's Day of Caring, 21 miles of monofilament were cleaned up from several local areas by a team from Alyeska Pipe Line Services, and since then AWC has pursued a project to place monofilament collection bins at popular fishing locations.  The following diagram shows the locations of where the monofilament was found as well as how far the monofilament, if lined up end-to-end stretches, from downtown to Chugiak!

 

 

Working with a 50% Challenge Grant from the Anchorage Parks Foundation and an Eagle Scout candidate, Kyler Ince, AWC staff Thom Eley created a collection bin that was built as a Scout project and deployed in over 20 locations (see following map). 

 

Eagle Scout candidate Kyler Ince being interviewed at Jewel Lake (June 23, 2015)

If you know of a location that could use a monofilament recycling bin (all monofilament is sent back to Berkley Fishing to be recycled), please contact Thom Eley at thom@anchoragecreeks.org.  Let's keep our birds, fish and wildlife free from debilitating injuries or death.