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Deep Creek needs help

Posted: March 10, 2014 - 5:54pm  |  Updated: March 11, 2014 - 8:40am

I love Deep Creek Recreation Area. It is located in the town of Ninilchik. I have been drawn back to the park since my first visit in 1992. I have camped beachside, dug for clams, used the boat launch and fished for salmon and Dolly Varden in the nearby anadromous river. I have watched the breathtaking sunsets on Mt. Iliamna and Mt. Redoubt across the inlet, seen the eagles soaring high above the cliffs and photographed the many shorebirds that inhabit the saltwater marsh. And, once, I even watched two young moose make their way through the busy campground.

You need to know what’s happening to the park if you have ever visited Deep Creek or plan to in the future.

Deep Creek State Recreation Area is in dire need of funding to save it from complete loss. Erosion, understaffing and deferred maintenance is taking its toll.

Most of the beachside campsites have eroded into the inlet, the riverbanks are crumbling into the river, the restrooms are rusting away and the boat launch is unusable. If the erosion is allowed to continue the commercial boat launch in the park will also be in jeopardy.

The Alaska State Parks currently has millions of dollars of unfunded deferred maintenance in Alaska’s State Parks. This area has been under funded and short staffed for years. Help is needed requesting funding to save Deep Creek from the erosion problem and to maintain and manage it.

The loss of Deep Creek Beach will be far reaching. The community of Ninilchik, the residents of the State of Alaska and the tourism industry, will feel the impact because people from all over the state and world visit this very special place.

Did you know that the Ninilchik Beach campground, at the nearby Ninilchik State Recreation Area was recently been lost to erosion? The state can’t afford to lose another of its treasures.

Please help save Deep Creek. Take a few moments, call or email your legislators and park officials. Let them know how much this park means to you.

■ Governor Parnell by email at sean.parnell@alaska.gov or by phone on 907-465-3500.

■ Joe Balash, Natural Resources Commissioner, joe.balash@alaska.gov or on 907-269-8431.

Thank you so much

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Alaskan-Bob
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Alaskan-Bob 03/12/14 - 03:08 pm
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I would like to add to Joan's article.

I am on the Southern Peninsula State Parks Citizens Advisory Board, which represents the State Parks on the Kenai Peninsula from Clam Gulch to Anchor Point.

Joan Witteman, that wrote this article is also on the same committee, and we are at wit's end trying to get the word out to people to take the time and either call, write or email the Governor or state representatives and let them know what a loss it would be to lose the Deep Creek Park.
Not mentioned is a large wetland that is directly tied to this beach, that follows up Deep Creek. If the erosion problem is allowed to continue and get worse, it will have an irreversible impact on the wild life that is associated with this wetland and Deep Creek. Bear, moose, coyote, wolf, geese, ducks and wild-birds of all types. These are only a few of the wild species that will be affected. There are also the plant life, insects, Salmon, Steelhead, Dolly and other fish and aquatic life that are associated with Deep Creek.

The beach directly north of Deep Creek is the Ninilchik Beach, which was the first beach we saw being affected by the erosion problem. At this time, it is considered lost to the erosion problem and not worth putting money into trying to save. This will happen to Deep Creek, unless we can put enough pressure on the Governor to allocate funding to address this problem at the present time. Without starting to devise a plan to save this beach at the present time, it will be gone within the next few years. By the time the Committee noticed that the Ninilchik Beach was in trouble it took only four years later for the Ninilchik Beach to be lost for good.

I hope you take the time to write our Alaskan Governor and Alaska State Representatives, and let them know what an impact this will / would have on you and your families, with your clamming and fishing activities down here on the Southern Kenai Peninsula.

Thank you for your time and any help you can contribute in this matter.
Bob Crosby

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