On the waterfront: Center produces guide

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Whether you own waterfront property overlooking Cook Inlet, the Kenai or Kasilof rivers, or any of the other numerous rivers and lakes on the Kenai Peninsula, there is a new book available that may be worth obtaining.

The Kenai River Center, together with the Kenai Watershed Forum, has published a book for waterfront property owners titled, "On the River: A Guide to Owning and Managing Waterfront Property on the Kenai Peninsula."

"It contains a little bit of everything: lake ecology, river dynamics, property development considerations, wildlife vignettes, an introduction to some of the regulations and property rights issues affecting waterfront property and more," said Jan Yaeger, educational coordinator for the KRC, in regard to the 87-page book now available free of charge.

Yaeger and co-author John Czarnezki, a resource planner with the Kenai Peninsula Borough, spent the last four years compiling information and writing the book. She said the impetus to produce it came after seeing how little information relevant to this area was actually available to waterfront property owners.

"There are special considerations to living on a waterfront that don't apply to living in other areas, and the resources out there didn't apply to Alaska, and definitely didn't apply to the Kenai," she said.

This new book is much more focused on the unique attributes of this specific area, but it is also designed not to be overwhelming to the reader, according to Yaeger.

"It's very concise, while still being user-friendly. It's designed to be used, but it's written like a book," she said.

The book is divided into three broad categories in that it has an Ecological section, a Development section and a Laws, Regulations and Property Rights section. Each of these has several sub-sections on numerous issues.

"It discusses a variety of considerations, such as where to put in wells and septics, how to protect the riverbank if you live on a river, and building materials to use if you live in coastal areas where saltwater and salty air have an effect," Yaeger said, naming a few of the topics covered.

"There is also a glossary for people to understand common terms and a list of different agencies and organizations that may be useful to a waterfront property owner," she added.

A DVD and CD-ROM were produced to go along with the book, but they don't explore the issues with the same detail as the book.

"The DVD has been available for a little over a year now, while the CD-ROM just came out a couple of weeks ago. They are also designed for waterfront landowners wanting to learn more about managing and protecting their property. The DVD gives an overview of property management considerations, and the CD-ROM focuses on methods of riverbank protection and restoration," Yaeger said.

Like the book, these multi-media resources are free.

For more information on the book, or to obtain a copy of it or the other resources, contact Jan Yaeger at the Kenai River Center at 260-4882 ext. 238.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at joseph.robertia@peninsulaclarion.com.

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