CRWP and Cordova’s 7th graders have laid the groundwork for Odiak Watershed Restoration by officially documenting the aquatic system as supporting coho salmon in the State of Alaska’s Anadromous Waters Catalog. They have also observed Dolly Varden, Cutthroat trout, Dusky Canada Geese, river otters, beavers and other organisms using this small aquatic habitat in the heart of Cordova.
Because of Odiak’s susceptibility to stormwater pollution, its high visibility, and the educational opportunities supported by this easily accessible ecosystem, funding has been secured in order to improve the habitat quality in Odiak Pond and Stream. Restoration would not be possible without the support of the City of Cordova, Cordova Community Medical Center, Alaska Department of Fish & Game, and the U.S. Forest Service.
Restoration projects include:
- Native Plant Garden
- Invasive Plant Experiment
- Hydrology Assessment
- Construction of Native Plant Filter
- Culvert Removal & Stream Channel Restoration
Native Plant Garden
In the summer of 2012, CRWP worked with the City of Cordova to construct a native plant garden adjacent to the pond. The garden provides valuable educational opportunities for visitors to and residents of Cordova, and will also be used to generate seeds for re-vegetation projects where invasive plants have been removed or the ground has been disturbed. CRWP seeks volunteers annually to assist with garden maintenance and upkeep. Contact the office to sign up or for more information.
Invasive Plant Eradication Experiment
CRWP and biologists from the Chugach National Forest have also set up an experiment to test treatments for eradicating Reed Canarygrass currently growing in the pond. This highly invasive plant has taken over stream channels in the Pacific Northwest, and it is our hope to identify an effective means for eradicating the plant so we can reduce the impact it has on local aquatic ecosystems, in particular the wetlands of the Copper River Delta.
A hydrology assessment of the pond has been completed that models stormwater contamination in Odiak watershed and suggests stormwater treatments we can implement for improving the quality of the water entering the pond from our roadways and developed areas. Contact the CRWP office to review a copy of this report. Because of the complex history of land-use in this area, we invite any information community members might be willing to share about the history of Odiak drainage.
Construction of Native Plant Filter
A bioswale, or vegetative filter has been constructed to help filter stormwater before it enters the pond. We hope this project will serve as a model for how native vegetation can be used for reducing the affect stormwater runoff has on our surrounding water bodies.
Thanks to Cordova High School students, Bidarki Summer Camp participants and other community volunteers for assisting with collecting and transplanting native plants. CRWP will be seeking volunteers each spring to assist with plant maintenance and upkeep.
Contact the office to sign up or for more information.
Culvert Removal & Stream Channel Restoration
In July 2014, CRWP worked with the City of Cordova, U.S. Forest Service, and National Civilian Conservation Corps Gold 7 Crew to remove an old wooden culvert remaining from the Copper River/Northwest Railroad and re-establish a natural stream channel. The goal of this project is to restore the natural flow of water through Odiak watershed and improve fish passage to upstream channels for spawning and rearing Coho salmon.
Project site before restoration work:
Project site after restoration work:
Enjoy a slideshow of images from project start to finish:
Created with flickr slideshow.
Project Partners and Contributors
- Alaska Department of Fish and Game
- Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund
- Chugach Alaska Corporation
- City of Cordova
- Cordova School District
- Cordova 7th Grade Science Class
- Eyak Corporation
- National Association of Counties Research Foundation
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, 5-Star Restoration Program: FedEx, Southern Company, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Native Village of Eyak
- Prince William Sound Science Center
- United States Fish and Wildlife Service
- USFS Cordova and Glacier Ranger Districts
- USFS Prince William Sound Resources Advisory Committee