odiak pond ca. 1940

A view of Cordova from the air, taken circa 1940. Image courtesy of Cordova Historical Society.

Overview of Project

Cordova 7th graders have adopted Odiak Pond and each school year they study this local pond ecosystem as part of their science class.  After a fall “water quality” academy, students collect monthly water quality data on pond water and do a complete ecosystem assessment in the spring.

The study was initiated during the 2009-2010 school year, and these students collected the data necessary to nominate this waterbody to the State of Alaska’s Catalog of Waters Important for the Spawning, Rearing or Migration of Anadromous Fishes.  This catalog, maintained by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, lists waterways that have been specified as being important for the spawning, rearing or migration of anadromous fish (salmon, trout, char, whitefish, sturgeon, etc.).  Waterbodies listed in this catalog receive special protection from future developments in order to protect Alaska’s waterways that are important for maintaining healthy anadromous fish populations.

During the 2010-2011 school year the students started to inventory and collect all the garbage that washed into the pond.   Their baseline data will be used to assess the benefits of upcoming restoration efforts in Odiak Pond.

waterqualityDuring the 2011-2012 year, CRWP and partners will be conducting a hydrology assessment of the pond to better understand the cycle of water through the ecosystem and to identify sites for establishing stormwater treatments.  We will create a wetland using native vegetation that is designed to filter water draining from Cordova’s streets and neighborhoods, ultimately improving the quality of the water making it into the pond.  We will also work to understand fish passage through the ecosystem, looking closely at the history of high water events and tide cycles.

Cordova 7th grade students will continue to monitor water quality indicators and conduct annual ecosystem assessments to monitor the effectiveness of restoration and outreach efforts.  Be sure to visit the Student Project page to see their collection of videos, podcast and articles. 

Thanks to our partners and sponsors

Projects like this are made possible because of the support of community partners and our funders, including:

  • Alaska Department of Fish & Game
  • Cara Heitz, 7th grade science teacher
  • Cordova School District
  • Ecotrust
  • Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Education Grant Program
  • Native Village of Eyak
  • Prince William Sound Science Center
  • United States Forest Service, Cordova Ranger District