To help maintain the health of the Copper River’s salmon population, WISE partnered with the Copper River Watershed Project to bring Salmon Blitz to our portion of the river. Salmon Blitz was developed in 2013 to engage citizen scientists in documenting salmon habitat in the Copper River watershed. Volunteers assist in the field and collect the data necessary to nominate stream and lake habitat for listing in the State of Alaska’s Anadromous Waters Catalog. This catalog is the tool used by Alaska Department of Fish and Game to track all known bodies of water used by salmon, trout, and other anadromous species for spawning, migrating and rearing.
In addition, the Willow Creek Water Consortium has, with the help of WISE, worked to chronicle a waterway that drains an area of over 100 sq. miles. The Willow Creek Research Project undertakes to determine the factors affecting the quality and quantity of water in the Willow Creek watershed so that the continued benefits of that water may be ensured for the future. This project is long-term, watershed-wide, and seeks broad community support.
WISE has also worked to bring the efforts of the Alaska Citizen Science Program to the area through lectures and support for field surveys.The Alaska Citizen Science Program is a partnership between members of the public and professional scientists. The program provides opportunities for private citizens to assist wildlife biologists in collecting important data as part of ongoing research projects and conservation planning. Alaska is a huge state with few scientists and limited funds available to study the many different species of wildlife that live here. With the help of local residents we are able to expand our efforts and do more with our limited resources. The Citizen Science Program allows individuals, families, community organizations, and school groups - anyone interested in learning more about our local wildlife - a chance to get involved.