Study Provides Baseline Data and Triages Adaptation Needs

The Takeaway: Precision models help Alaska assess vulnerability amid glacial melt and coastal uplift.

On the Kachemak Bay coast, local ice fields are melting rapidly while the area continues to experience “uplift” from a powerful earthquake that rocked the region in 1964. The Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve stepped in to help local communities fill information gaps and assess their vulnerability to erosion, sea level rise, and inundation.

To give the region solid, science-based information to work from, the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve led a team to assess and monitor coastal uplift, glacial melt, and sea level rise. The project developed high-precision models and established salt marsh monitoring sites. Municipal officials are using this information to pinpoint vulnerability, investigate potential impacts to infrastructure, and identify adaptation approaches and additional research needs. (2016)

Partners: City of Homer, Kachemak Bay Reserve, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Seldovia Village Tribe, University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute