Stream Set Backs

The Alaska Center works across the state to protect the resources that sustain our families, cultures, and communities, while ensuring that Alaskans have a voice in the decisions impacting our future.

One of our priorities as an advocacy organization is to protect clean water and salmon statewide. We have over 5,000 members in Anchorage concerned about clean water and urban salmon habitat. Our membership supports stream protections in the Municipality, from Eklutna to Girdwood.

The Alaska Center is in support of the most recent draft of the stream setback ordinance submitted by the Watershed Department. Our current 25ft stream setback rules fall far below national standards and do not adequately protect our creeks and properties. We support the Municipality’s proposed tiered approach to setback increases and believe the draft ordinance will more adequately protect urban infrastructure, private property, and urban waterways than the current rules.

Stream setbacks improve property values, prevent riparian habitat degradation, and help reduce urban flooding during run-off and heavy rain events. Setbacks are important to maintaining our urban greenways for commuting, and recreation. Additionally, setbacks are important to maintain critical spawning and rearing habitat for salmon, found throughout the 300 miles of urban waterways within Anchorage.