The mission at the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve is to enhance understanding and appreciation of the Kachemak Bay estuary and adjacent waters to ensure that these ecosystems remain healthy and productive.
Kachemak Bay is a protected bay where freshwater streams, glacial meltwater, and tidally driven ocean waters merge. A unique ecosystem is formed within the Reserve’s 372,000 acres where an abundance of marine plants, birds, fish, and other aquatic organisms thrive. The Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (KBNERR), located in Homer, Alaska, is a place-based center for integrated coastal and nearshore research and education. KBNERR is a federal-state partnership managed by the Alaska Center for Conservation Science at University of Alaska Anchorage and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, with input from local partners. Founded in 1999, KBRR conducts innovative and collaborative research and monitoring within and around Kachemak Bay’s “living laboratory.” This information is transferred to local communities to help address coastal resource issues.
The Reserve’s Research and Monitoring program is designed to detect short-term variability and long-term changes in coastal species and habitats within the Reserve., which provide a foundation for developing solutions to coastal management problems. The Education program conducts educational programs at the Reserve and off-site that link current research to community members, decision-makers, and PreK-12 school groups. The Coastal Training program works with coastal decision-makers to provide up-to-date scientific information and professional development trainings. Using this approach, KBNERR contributes to the understanding of coastal system responses to climate and natural disturbances within Kachemak Bay.