The Kenai Peninsula Borough Habitat Protection Tax Credit Program provides landowners a tax credit as partial reimbursement for habitat protection and restoration projects within 150 feet of the anadromous water bodies protected under the KPB Habitat Protection District.

The AK Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have cooperatively developed a Cost-Share program to help riverside property owners protect riverbanks and fish habitat on Kenai Peninsula rivers. Applicants whose projects are accepted can receive reimbursement for up to 50% of the cost of their project.

Visit ADF&G's Kenai Peninsula Cost-Share Program web page.
Visit USFWS's Kenai Peninsula Habitat Restoration web page.

Click here for the current Cost Share Program Flyer

ELP

An Elevated Light Penetrating ELP Platform provides fishing
access while protecting a riverbank.

Erosion, deposition and changes in course are natural events in a river's life cycle. However, human activities can alter the rate at which these events occur. Erosion in particular can cause problems when it occurs more rapidly than it would in an undisturbed system. Landowners can lose valuable property, fish lose critical habitat, and sediments deposited in river bottoms can prevent fish eggs from hatching.

To help protect private property and fish habitat, the Cost-Share program works with applicants to develop bank protection and restoration projects. Persons interested in applying for the program submit an application packet that includes drawings and written descriptions of the proposed project, cost estimates, and photographs of the riverbank.

Projects are selected based on their value in sustaining, restoring, or creating fish habitat. Projects must use methods that not only provide for bank stabilization and rehabilitation but also sustain or improve fish and wildlife habitat. Examples of successful projects include, but are not limited to:

Bank stabilization techniques including rootwads and cabled spruce trees

Protecting existing bank vegetation using elevated walkways and stairs

Removing structures such as jetties and bulkheads that are detrimental to salmon habitat

Applications are generally accepted between June and Sept. 30 of the year before construction is proposed to begin. All applications are reviewed, and agency personnel conduct field visits and consultations with applicants to discuss the project goals, scheduling, and possible project revisions to optimize restoration efforts.

Selection is generally made by the end of January and Cooperative Agreements between landowners and USFWS are drawn up. Permits are issued after the Cooperative Agreements have been signed.

No purchase of project materials or construction may occur under this funding until the Cooperative Agreement is signed by both parties and all applicable permits have been issued.

Projects not selected for the Cost Share Program can still go forward as long as they receive all applicable permits. Regardless of whether or not projects are included in the Cost Share Program, they may be eligible for the Kenai Peninsula Borough's Tax Credit Program or Tax Exemption Program.

For more information about these programs, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on KBeach Rd, Emily Munter at 907-262-9863

You can also contact Alaska Department of Fish & Game in Anchorage,Jess Johnsonat 907-267-2403

The River Center is located on the banks of the Kenai River at River Mile 22.7. This stretch of the river has high, steep and easily erodible banks. To protect the river and provide safe recreational access to the river, a revegetation and walkway project was undertaken at the Kenai River Center in the spring and early summer of 2003.

The Issue

The bank behind the Kenai River Center is a popular river access point for anglers. Over the years, a number of trails have been created that crisscross the riverbank. These trails do not support vegetation and are prone to erosion, which in turn causes more vegetation to be lost and damages water quality and fish habitat in the river.

In June 2000, an initial effort was made to protect the shoreline at the ordinary high water line (OHW) by fastening spruce tree revetments to the bank with cables. Although this succeeded in slowing down the erosion at the water line, it was prone to damage by trampling. Also, erosion of the bank above continued as people traveled up and down the steep bank to access the river.

beach and trail
Old restoration effort and eroded hill

The Plan

The decision was made to develop a solution that would address two issues: the need to protect riverbank vegetation and slow erosion, and the need to provide safe access to the river for anglers and other recreational users.

Both issues could be resolved by the installation of elevated light-penetrating (ELP) walkways, ramps and stairs. This system provides a way for people to travel up and down the bank safely and without trampling bank vegetation. A fishing platform and stairs leading directly to the riverbed allow access for anglers while protecting the fragile riverbank.

wader
Even before the project was finished, eager anglers were putting it to use.

Further protection of the riverbank at the ordinary high water level was also installed. A combination of root wads, cabled spruce tree revetments, soil wraps, and live willow stakes will help restore the health of the riverbank and provide critical habitat for juvenile fish.

To learn more about streambank restoration, click here.

The Design

The completed project has four sets of stairs leading to the river from two access points on the upper bank, as well as a ramp that accommodates wheelchair access to a fishing platform. Established trails lead to each walkway.

A clearing and gazebo on the upland section of the project provides an area to get out of the rain or eat lunch. This area will also be used in conjunction with educational programs at the Kenai River Center.

bankmap
Garbage receptacles and portable toilets have also been put in place to encourage users to keep the riverbank area clean and litter-free.

Riverbank protection and restoration is one of the most important things you, as a landowner, can do to protect both your property investment and the health of Kenai Peninsula rivers. Several programs are available to help property owners with the costs of habitat protection and restoration projects. Some projects may be eligible for more than one program. To learn whether your project qualifies for a particular program, contact the agency or office that administers it.

The AK Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have developed a Cost-Share Program to help riverside property owners protect riverbanks and fish habitat on Kenai Peninsula rivers. Applicants whose projects are accepted can receive reimbursement for up to 50% of the cost of their project. Click here to learn more about the Cost Share Program.


The USFWS Fish Passage Program was established to improve fish access to historical habitat. This program works with local landowners, communities and partner agencies to restore natural flows and fish migration. The Fish Passage Program provides technical assistance and federal funds to remove, replace, or retrofit culverts, weirs, abandoned dams, or other structures that impede fish movement. The program also supports surveys of fish barriers within important watersheds. To learn more about the USFWS Fish Passage Program, click here.


The Kenai Peninsula Borough recognizes the contribution property owners make to the health of Kenai Peninsula rivers when they undertake riverbank protection and restoration projects. To assist property owners, the Borough has established two programs to help property owners with the cost of such projects.

The KPB Habitat Protection Tax Credit Program provides landowners a tax credit as partial reimbursement for habitat protection and restoration projects within 150 feet of the salmon streams protected under the KPB Habitat Protection Ordinance. Click here to learn more about the Tax Credit Program.

The KPB Habitat Protection Tax Exemption Program provides landowners a tax exemption for all or part of the increased assessed value of property when the increase is due to habitat protection and restoration projects within 150 feet of the salmon streams protected under the KPB Habitat Protection Ordinance. To learn more about the Tax Exemption Program, click here.


The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) is a program of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. WHIP is a voluntary program for private landowners and local and state land managers who want to develop, improve or restore fish and wildlife habitat. WHIP provides both technical assistance and financial support to help establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat on non-federal lands. NRCS can assist landowners with up to 75 percent cost-sharing to improve fish and wildlife habitat. Federal or state wildlife agencies or private organizations may provide additional funding or expertise to help complete a project. To learn more about the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, click here.