Image on left is the western coast of the Kenai Peninsula
Georectified aerial photos are shown on the left
New Tool Finds “Hot Spots” of Erosion in the Kenai Peninsula Borough - The Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Department has a new tool in hand for use in evaluating whether changes to coastline policy are appropriate. The tool is a visual presentation of the historic changes to the borough’s western coastline from Homer to Nikiski resulting from natural forces.
With funding from an Alaska Coastal Management Program enhancement grant, the borough was able to contract with the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve’s science staff to orthorectify 50 years of aerial photographs of the borough’s coastline to illustrate the rate of recession over time and identify the “hot spots” of erosion. Finding the “hot spots” are of particular interest since development in these areas requires special considerations.
The lack of scientific information about the vulnerability of coastal areas due to natural forces has impeded the borough’s ability to develop a comprehensive, consistent coastal erosion policy for the area. With this new information in hand the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will have a science-based understanding of this high-hazard area. And the borough’s coastal district can apply to the ACMP for an amendment to its Natural Hazard policies.
Other end-users of the study are realtors, land developers and individuals who wish to join the increasing numbers of those building on the bluffs overlooking the scenic Cook Inlet and the Alaska Range.