Starting this summer, the Anchor River is going to receive some extra care. Stream Watch is expanding its river-stewardship program to Anchor Point. The program trains volunteers to educate people about river systems and how to treat them.
Alice Main is the volunteer coordinator for the Stream Watch, and she says river-goers are often more receptive to receiving advice about best practices from a volunteer rather than from a government official.
"Conversations happen much more naturally and the volunteers are not out there to write tickets, they're not out there to shame anyone but they're out there as a resource to chat with you for a little bit to say ‘hi, how's it going?’ " she said. "I think that speaks a lot and helps to educate people in a very friendly and relaxed situation."
The program also facilitates projects on rivers such as clean up and restoration days. The Kenai Watershed Forum and the Chugach National Forest administers Stream Watch. The program already works on the Kenai, Kasliof and Russian rivers among other areas. Main says a grant from the Exon-Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council paid for the recent expansion to the Anchor River, and she wants to make sure the program caters specifically to the area.
"It’s about assessing the community, and seeing if it's something that the Anchor Point [and] Homer community wants to have, and then making it into something that suits that area and those people," she said.
There will be a volunteer orientation on July 14 and members of the public that are 16 years and older can sign up to participate. For more information, you can email email@example.com or visit www.kenaiwatershed.org.