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Project Information

Title: Long-term Monitoring of Oceanographic Conditions in Cook Inlet/Kachemak Bay, Alaska

Project Year and Number: 2019: 19120114-J

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: None

Principal Investigator (PI): Kris Holderied, NOAA

Assisting Personnel: None

Research Location:

Restoration Category: Monitoring

Injured Resources Addressed: Barrow's Goldeneye , Black Oystercatchers , Clams , Common Loons , Common Murres , Cormorants , Harbor Seals , Harlequin Ducks , Intertidal Organisms , Killer Whales , Kittlitz's Murrelets , Marbled Murrelets , Mussels , Pacific Herring , Pigeon Guillemot , Pink Salmon , Recreation & Tourism , Rockfish , Sea Otters , Sediments , Sockeye Salmon , Subsistence , Subtidal Organisms

Abstract: The Cook Inlet/Kachemak Bay monitoring project provides year-round, high temporal resolution oceanographic and plankton community data to assess the effects of seasonal and inter-annual oceanographic variability on nearshore and pelagic species affected by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. We continue a 7-year time-series of shipboard oceanography surveys along the estuarine gradient from Kachemak Bay into southeast Cook Inlet, as well as a 17-year time series of continuous nearshore water quality station observations in Kachemak Bay. Shipboard sampling includes conductivity-temperature-vs-depth (CTD) casts, and phytoplankton and zooplankton net tows. Outputs from the project include seasonally-resolved oceanographic patterns, plankton abundance and community composition, and cycles for harmful algal species. The project provides oceanographic data to support Gulf Watch Alaska (GWA) Nearshore Component monitoring in Kachemak Bay. It also provides year-round information on estuary-shelf oceanographic gradients for the GWA Environmental Drivers component to help evaluate local (within estuary) and remote (shelf, North Pacific) climate forcing effects on nearshore and pelagic ecosystems. Results show that: 1) water temperatures in 2017 were cooler than during the 2014-2016 marine heat wave but still above long-term averages; 2) zooplankton response to environmental variability in Kachemak Bay was higher between years than spatially; and 3) summer abundances of the toxic phytoplankton species that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning were sensitive to warm temperatures and higher in Kachemak Bay than lower Cook Inlet. The only proposed change for FY19 is for Steve Baird to replace Jessica Shepherd as Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve co-principal investigator.

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Funding Detail For: 2019

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 2019

Annual Report: 2019: Due 03/01/2020

Final Report: Draft Final Report Due 4/15/20

Publications from this Project: None Available