Storm Impacts on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta

Funded Title: 
Validation of Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Storm Surge Model
Duration: 
Feb 2013

Despite being a critical nesting habitat for many of Alaska’s seabirds and other wildlife, relatively little is known about the western coast of Alaska in relation to the character and impact of Bering Sea storms, the extent and frequency of flooding and its impact on vegetation, wildlife, and water quality, or about the effects of climate change and sea-level rise on this area, its communities, and their infrastructure. This project aims to expand current understanding of coastal storms and the effect of climate change on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta by modeling 1) historical and projected future storms under assumed sea-level rise scenarios, 2) flood extent, depth, and frequency for different storms, and 3) impacts of storms on wildlife abundance and nesting sites, pond salinity, and sediment movement.