Training Inspires Homer to Advance Green Infrastructure

The Takeaway: After trainings, officials use course materials in clean-water efforts and seek to remove green infrastructure barriers.

Communities in Alaska face a changing climate that brings intensified storms, floods, and coastal erosion. A training has galvanized City of Homer and State of Alaska officials to zero in on the problem by promoting green infrastructure strategies. NOAA’s Digital Coast Academy partnered with the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Alaska Sea Grant to deliver Introducing Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience.

After trainings in Homer and Anchorage, the City of Homer Planning Commission moved to prioritize green infrastructure in their annual workplan. Commission members are laying the groundwork to revise local codes that can move green infrastructure projects forward.

A State of Alaska grant enables Homer to incorporate these practices at a new police station, where displays will highlight how green infrastructure saves money while cutting stormwater runoff. What’s more, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation is using the training materials in their Alaska Clean Water Action requests for proposals.

Before the training, such strategies had rarely been discussed among Anchorage and Kenai Peninsula officials. They, and representatives from nonprofits and academia, made the most of the training’s networking opportunities, sharing ideas for absorbing urban floodwaters and reducing local erosion trouble spots. (2019)

More Information: Story from the Field

Partners: Alaska Sea Grant, Kachemak Bay Research Reserve, NOAA Office for Coastal Management