EPSCoR - Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments
SCTC Salmon 2050 Scenario 3: Fishing Capital
The sustainability of salmon within this ever-changing climate is a question posed by many whose lives focus on this natural resource and its future. South Central Alaska is no exception to this, and as such the Salmon 2050 Project through EPSCOR places focus upon the South Central area to address this issue. Five hypothetical scenarios have been constructed in order to address the future of salmon.
Scenario 3: "The Kenai watershed, like most of southcentral Alaska, has largely escaped many of the environmental impacts once thought as almost inevitable and become a premier destination for both fishing and living. Temperatures have only increased 1° F since 2015, and as such most rivers with intact riparian habitat have been able to maintain their natural salmon stocks. Fueled by only moderate environmental changes, southcentral Alaska has become a climate refuge for many former residents of the lower 48. Population in Anchorage is now over half a million, which has put pressure on the Kenai watershed to provide bedroom communities. To facilitate better connectivity with Anchorage, a ferry system was finished in 2035 with a stop at Point Possession. As a result, growth in Point Possession exploded from a population of 3, to over 30,000 people. Thanks to fill-in development along the spur road, the Kenai watershed now has 30,000 residents, nearly double what we had in 2015. All this growth started after a couple of extreme winters in the lower 48, coupled with really mild winters in Alaska. Real estate developers took the opportunity to begin marketing fishing cabins to those looking to escape the unpredictable weather of the contiguous U.S. and live a fishing and recreation-based lifestyle. Now the Kenai watershed is seen as the fishing capital of the U.S., with nearly everyone being involved with the sport fishing and tourism industry. While the increase in local population increased the participation in the personal use fishery initially, it has now leveled off, as managers try and find the balance between the sport fishing interests and the personal use fishery. Commercial fishing has continued to thrive, fueling even more tension between the different fishing industries."
Data and Resources
Data Types: Image, GIS