May 10, 2012 | Volume 42, No. 19

Crew builds 9 tide pools at Lutak

A crew coordinated by the Takshanuk Watershed Council last month installed nine tide pools near Picture Point as part of the Haines Borough’s environmental mitigation work for Port Chilkoot Dock waterfront improvements.

“The borough is really thrilled about this, because I just didn’t want to send a piece of equipment down there and stir that whole area up; it just didn’t make sense,” said public facilities director Brian Lemcke. “They came up with a pretty good solution.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers required the mitigation as compensation for the environmental impact of filling a beach at the dock.

“In total, I think we had 18 people down there, rolling rocks around, as opposed to driving a machine down there and, potentially, doing more damage,” said Brad Ryan, executive director of Takshanuk Watershed Council.

He said volunteers, including students from Mark Fontenot’s Haines High School marine biology class, on April 19 used PND Engineers’ design and pry bars to create the tide pools manually.

“These nine tide pools, in essence, are three large rocks that are, basically, between 28 and 36 inches on an axis - not a circumference - and then it’s five to seven smaller rocks,” Ryan said. “We put them in a cluster, and the thought is that the wave and tidal action will eventually form small pools in between these clusters and provide some more tidal habitat.”

Facilities director Lemcke said Haines students would continue to monitor the tide pools and wildlife there as a long-term project.