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State of Kachemak Bay Report Highlights Long-term Monitoring Data

Published on: 03/02/2021
Region(s) of Study: U.S. States and Territories / Alaska

Scientists retrieve a CTD instrument from Kachemak Bay, as a whale surfaces in the background. The CTD instrument measures water conductivity, temperature, and depth. Credit: NCCOS.

A report on the status of the ecosystem in Kachemak Bay, Alaska, is now available to the public. The 2019 State of Kachemak Bay report consolidates long-term monitoring and research findings from a diverse group of government agencies and academic institutions in various science fields to highlight current conditions in the Bay.

Kachemak Bay is a NOAA Habitat Focus Area that supports important recreational, subsistence, and commercial fisheries. The area is also important for marine transportation, tourism, and threatened and endangered species. The Bay is experiencing changing climate conditions, fish and shellfish population declines, harmful algal blooms, and other hazards. The State of Kachemak Bay is intended to be an annual report published each spring, offering a cross-disciplinary summary of recent findings for people working and living in the region.

For example, Kachemak Bay waters were unusually warm in 2019, especially in the summer. Increased harmful algal blooms were expected due to the warmer temperatures, but did not materialize. Also in 2019, the Bay experienced a summer drought, low salmon returns, and hints of sea star recovery.

The new report is one of several products from the NCCOS project Ecological Assessment for Kachemak Bay, Alaska: Science Tools to Inform Management.

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