The Citizens’ Environmental Monitoring Program has collected baseline water quality data at stream and estuarine locations around the Kachemak Bay and Anchor River watersheds since 1996. Every sampling site has a history of volunteers who have dedicated their time, pictures throughout the seasons, and data that document the baseline water quality. Each sampling site is part of a larger watershed.
What Is A Watershed?
If a drop of water fell in your backyard, in what direction would it flow? What stream would it eventually end up in, and where is that stream heading? A watershed is simply the area of land where all of the water that is on it goes to the same place. The contours of the land we live on define our watersheds by dictating which direction water will flow. The size of a watershed depends on which watershed you’re talking about. Everyone in Talkeetna, Wasilla, Palmer, Anchorage, Chickaloon, Cooper Landing, Nikiski, Kenai, Ninilchik, Homer, Tyonek, and Beluga all live within the Cook Inlet watershed. Water that flows through our communities eventually ends up in the Cook Inlet.
In Homer, we also live on Kachemak Bay (which “flows” into Cook Inlet!). So in addition to being part of the Cook Inlet watershed, we are also within the Kachemak Bay watershed. All of the water that flows through Homer ends up in the Bay. If you live by Karen Hornaday Park in Homer, then it’s likely that you are part of yet another watershed – the Woodard Creek watershed! Any water that runs from your house will flow towards Woodard Creek, which then will flow into Kachemak Bay, and into the Cook Inlet.