Water of sufficient quality and quantity are among the essential elements for sustaining production of Alaska's valuable fish and wildlife resources in rivers, lakes, estuaries, and wetlands. The department’s Statewide Aquatic Resources Unit (SARCU) provides scientific expertise, core personnel, data collection and analyses to make recommendations for sustaining fish and wildlife production sustaining fish and wildlife production, including waterway access, consistent with state, federal, and local law.
Most hydroelectric projects in Alaska are licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC licenses determine how to allocate river flows between energy generation and other beneficial uses recognized by the Federal Power Act as well as other applicable laws. SARCU participates in the entire FERC licensing process, coordinating and providing comments and technical expertise to FERC and the project applicant. SARCU also plays an important role in assisting the applicant in the design of study plans for collecting data on fish, wildlife, and water resources in the project area. The department is also involved in permitting hydroelectric projects.
Alaska Clean Water Actions (ACWA)
The Alaska Clean Water Actions Program (ACWA) brings Alaska’s resource agencies together to characterize Alaska's waters in a holistic manner; sharing data, expertise and other information. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game collaborates with the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Conservation to maintain the ACWA's database of priority waters and identified stewardship actions. The three state resource agencies also conduct an annual joint matched-solicitation for water quality projects that will restore, protect, or conserve water quality, water quantity, and aquatic habitat on identified waters.