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Potential Ideas

The Question:

What can I do, create or invent to better care for the environment of the Kenai Peninsula?

Get Started:


These questions should help your brainstorm process get started.
  1. What do you already know about the environment of the Kenai Peninsula?
  2. What are some aspects of our environment you want to know more about?
  3. What do you most enjoy or are most familiar with in terms of interacting with the environment (i.e. fishing, hunting, hiking, bike riding, boating, etc.)?
  4. What are some issues that you are already aware of as they pertain to the environment whether it is our impact on the environment or vice versa?
  5. What resources do you have access to that could be used in caring for our environment?
  6. Who do you know or know of (people, organizations, foundations, etc.) in the community who you could talk to that would be able aid you in the development of your idea?

Potential and Existing


As you consider your answers, think about these areas of concern.
  • Illegal disposal of used oil
  • Accidental oil spills
  • Improper disposal of hazardous waste
  • Air pollution from auto, home and industry
  • Leaks from cars, boats, etc. leading to groundwater contamination
  • Bilge water from vessels causing water pollution
  • Pollution from batteries leading to water contamination
  • Vehicle emissions causing air quality problems
  • Mining discharges causing water turbidity
  • Hydrocarbon contamination in the Kenai River
  • Disposal of fish processing waste
  • Pharmaceuticals (medications) reaching environment through domestic wastewater
  • Forests and vegetation
  • Natural gas
  • Wildlife (endangered species; regulations)

Transportation issues and their impact directly on the environment, or funds that could be used to support and preserve the environment.

  • Roads
  • Rivers
  • Skies
  • Overuse of rivers causing bank degradation
  • Bluff erosion
  • Rampant development without planning
  • Building too close to rivers; homes & condos
  • Untested septic systems near and along river banks
  • Culverts that block salmon passage
  • Road dust from traffic
What effects does climate change have on the peninsula, and what can we do about it?
Invasive species, both plants and animals, can have a profound impact on the ecology in many ways, often with a negative effect on current species. What can I do to help promote awareness of invasive species, and what can I do to help eradicate them before they become a nuisance? Can I create or join in any volunteer efforts to control invasive species?

Issues to explore: Is there a proposal I could make to the Alaska Board of Fisheries to deal with invasive pike in the waters of the central Kenai Peninsula, which threaten important salmon populations? Can I adopt a section of stream and organize a group activity to eradicate invasive plants along a riparian area or along a trail or road system?
We live in an area that is ripe for potential natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcano eruptions, flooding, forest fires, etc.). What are some ideas you can cultivate to help our community be more prepared for these potential occurrences?

Time to Get Creative

Possible Solutions

Once you have a problem, what are some things that you can do to solve or mitigate it?
  • No process to recycle/dispose of used oil filters
  • Plastic waste is too costly to ship for recycling
  • Not enough people participating in recycling
  • Landfills fill up with used tires
  • Energy efficiency – create or implement ways to reduce energy use
  • Promotion of local, sustainable sources of foods and goods
  • How can I participate actively in the environmental education process with various groups who live or visit the Kenai Peninsula?
  • Is there a product I could produce for free or for sale that would help in the education process?
  • How do people, such as landowners along our rivers, become aware of the important regulations to follow when developing their private property?

Creating common data base for stream/river parameters (discharge, fish passages, chemistry, boat usage, etc.)

The average person has access to an ever increasing amount of technology. What ideas can you develop that incorporate or even center on the everyday mass use of this technology?

Potential energy projects could include wind, tidal, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass and other sources. Each alternative energy project will have its own unique set of characteristics, with advantages and disadvantages. Power generation projects are complicated issues that come with a host of questions that need to be addressed. In considering a potential source of power generation, it is important to take into account:

  1. The cost of the project and the price of the energy that will be produced.
  2. Is the energy available on demand or is it intermittent? If the resource is intermittent (wind, solar, tidal, etc.), what is the added cost to integrate the alternative energy and maintain delivery of firm, reliable power to customers?
  3. What is the environmental impact of the project? Will there be effects on air quality, water resources, or wildlife and if so, can these impacts be mitigated?
  4. What is the proximity of the project to the electric grid (transmission lines). For example, if a site has excellent wind potential, but is a hundred miles from the nearest transmission line, it probably won’t be cost effective to build.
  5. Is the technology advanced enough to support a utility scale project?
  6. What is the expected lifetime of the project?


These are simply some categories to get your mind thinking in the right direction. Feel free to branch of off these topics or even develop entirely new ones of your own! Depending on your life experiences, you will have an entirely different perspective as to how to help protect and improve our environment. We look forward to hearing your ideas!

Just For Fun

A Couple More

We couldn't help ourselves.


Consider the effects of litter, and specifically plastics, on fish and wildlife. A big problem right here at home is discarded fishing line. This could be expanded to considering how litter which reaches our local waterways is contributing to the growing worldwide problem of marine debris.


Has "carrying capacity" for people been reached, or surpassed, at some of the Kenai Peninsula's most popular recreation destinations like the Kenai and Kasilof rivers? Is it time to limit the number of people using these areas at any one time? If you think so, why, how would you reduce crowding?

See Other Ideas

Before you enter, it might be helpful to see what other students have submitted in the past.

Submit a Project!

Enter the contest by following the submission instructions - we want to hear your ideas!