Featured, Outdoors

A changing ecosystem

I have been driving back and forth on the Seward Highway between Nash Road and Hermin Lierer (Exit Glacier) Road several times a day ever since April 2002. Every time, I would always glance over at the marshy area on the east side of the road to take a quick look at the water levels. During times of heavy rainfall and flooding, the water would rise and submerge the bike path to the north of the Stash and Store. In extreme rainfalls, the water would encroach the southbound lane of the highway and even cross over to Knotsofast and flow into Preachers Pond.

I was greeted by a new sight last week: extremely low waters and large areas of mud, something that I have never seen in the past.

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The Borough recently hired a contractor to divert Clear Creek into Salmon Creek, greatly reducing the water levels and thus the flooding hazard.

I had the opportunity to walk the bike path along that segment, and the change thus far is truly amazing.  Small salmon fry could be seen darting about; the birds were busy exploring the muddy areas in search of insects, and even the remains of a king salmon that presumably went up during the June flooding. It will be interesting to see what the area looks like in a few years as the mud continues to dry up and the alders take off.

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