Juneau Waterfront - Juneau, Alaska
Habitat and Environment:
A center of commerce, livelihood, industry, tourism, and social interaction, Juneau's waterfront is its heart. An eclectic mix of government offices, retail shops, a cruise ship terminal, a marina, and industrial uses intersect tidal habitats, estuaries, and forests. Juneau's shoreline is a mixture of natural and constructed treatments. Surrounded by wilderness, this waterfront also plays a vital role in a fragile ecology. A protection zone at the mouth of Gold Creek preserves a natural tide flat and creek delta, but elsewhere the city's shoreline is armored with rip-rap or steel sheet pile. Guided by a waterfront master plan, Juneau is developing a phased sea walk to renovate its waterfront, unite the city with its natural surroundings, and provide a destination for residents and visitors.
Habitat and Environment
Both the Juneau waterfront and the city as a whole must respond to the surrounding delicate ecosystem. A protected zone at the mouth of Gold Creek serves as migratory salmon habitat, and diverse marine flora can be seen at low tide. Out-migrating juvenile salmon require safe passage through the urban waterfront, and this has been provided as a result of Juneau's development. Because the extreme variation in Juneau's tide levels and long tide flats has necessitated ship moorage and boardwalks located significantly off shore, a shallow water shoreline bench remains undisturbed, and open water portals between boardwalks illuminate the water below. Combined, these assets improve salmon migration conditions along the city's waterfront while accommodating operational and loading requirements.
Since Juneau has a large tourism industry, the downtown and waterfront are heavily used by cruise ship passengers, particularly between May and September. When ships are not in port, locals stroll and jog along the Steamship Dock, the Cold Storage/South Ferry Dock, and portions of the walkway behind the Merchant's Wharf, even without a formal public walkway in these locations. Expanded public recreation is desired along the waterfront, and parks, plazas, promenades, and increased marina facilities are proposed in current planning documents.
Design and Construction
In 2004, the Long Range Waterfront Plan for the City and Borough of Juneau was released to the public. The document contains a history of the waterfront, planning issues, and a waterfront master plan with phasing and implementation strategies.
2003 Long Range Waterfront Plan for the City and Borough of Juneau.