The flow of streams and rivers in Southeast Alaska determines when fish run, impacts hikers traveling on the Chilkoot Trail, and sets the pace for nearly all the region's ecosystems. The freshwater flowing from the glaciers, mountain snowpack, and high annual rainfall in Southeast Alaska amounts to more freshwater output than is discharged from the Mississippi River drainage, and area four times the size of southeast Alaska. Monitoring this important environmental vital sign is imperative to gauging how changes in streamflow will be affected by melting glaciers, meandering river channels, and global climate change.
The Southeast Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network's (SEAN) streamflow monitoring program tracks flow in all three parks in the region including; Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (NHP), Sitka NHP and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve (NPP). In cooperation with local municipalities and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), SEAN is collecting data from the Taiya River in Dyea, AK (Klondike), the Indian River in Sitka, AK, and the Alsek River in Glacier Bay NPP. Additionally, there is potential to also monitor the Salmon River in Gustavus, AK, adjacent to Glacier Bay NPP.
For more information on this monitoring program visit the SEAN Streamflow web page.