After a year of not seeing our longtime supporters due to the pandemic or the opportunity to meet new people with different perspectives at in-person events, we really wanted to hear directly from Alaskans. So, we developed a survey to understand community-specific concerns about threats to water resources—both old and new—as we consider future projects that best serve the people who live and work in the Cook Inlet watershed.
We are very thankful to the respondents who took the online survey from February 4–March 31, 2021.
Overall, survey respondents were most concerned about climate change and how it is impacting environmental conditions for fish and wildlife throughout the Cook Inlet watershed. While many water and habitat concerns were highlighted, the survey results indicated that Alaskans are most concerned about:
- Climate change, specifically a warming climate, and the subsequent impacts on water resources. Almost 70% of respondents identified climate change as their top concern facing Cook Inlet, and 54% of respondents identified a warming climate as their top environmental concern facing Cook Inlet communities.
- Cook Inletkeeper’s salmon habitat protection work is the most highly valued priority. Over 80% of respondents indicated that they “highly value” Cook Inletkeeper’s salmon habitat protection priorities.
- Summer drought conditions impacting critical fish habitat. Half of respondents noted they were “very concerned” about reduced water levels impacting fish habitat in the Cook Inlet watershed.
- Rising ocean and stream temperatures and reduced fish habitat quality. The top habitat concern for respondents was increasing stream and ocean temperatures, with 72% noting they were “very concerned” about this issue.
- Toxic discharge and contamination from oil & gas platforms and mining activity. Respondents were most concerned about pollution from oil & gas and mining activities to the waters and soils of Cook Inlet.
You can read the full summary report below.