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Protecting Alaska's Cook Inlet watershed and the life it sustains since 1995.
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Inletkeeper Scoping Comments - Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Area Management Plan

As you know, Cook Inletkeeper has been intimately engaged in various Alaska habitat issues since its formation over 22 years ago. I’m writing now to offer some scoping comments on the revision process for the Kachemak Bay & Fox River Flats Critical Habitat Areas Plan. With its headquarters in Homer, Inletkeeper has a close and familiar relationship with Kachemak Bay, its people and history, and its management. Just this past summer, we held a panel discussion to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the buyback of the oil and gas leases which had been let in Kachemak Bay in the early 1970’s. That fight played a central role in the creation of the Kachemak Bay & Fox River Flats Critical Habitat Areas. Unfortunately, since then, a growing population and a veritable explosion in various uses has changed the complexion of the region. For example, in the 1980’s we witnessed the crash of once-prolific shrimp and crab fisheries, along with the jobs and economies they supported. More recently, we have experienced similarly alarming changes, including massive die-offs of common murres, sea otters, little neck clams, butter clams and razor clams. Now, a massive spruce aphid infestation is taking over where the spruce beetle left off 20 years ago, marking radical changes to our forests and our watershed. While some of these changes can certainly be attributed to our rapidly changing climate, rising water temperatures and increased ocean acidification, others can be ascribed to elevated harvest pressures, competition for prey species and short-sighted resource management