Is the water trail just for kayakers or for other boaters as well?
The water trail is for all boaters with the recognition that not all sites are suitable for all boats. As an example, the north shore is not suitable for sailboats or power boats due to extensive mud flats.
How will private property be protected?
Private property will be identified as an official water trail site only if a property owner is interested and willing to participate. We will strive to make sure visitors know where private property is and to steer people away from it if the owner wishes. Official water trail sites, including those offered by private property owners, will be identified, mapped, and marked with signs that have the water trail logo. All other lands will be off limits without express landowner permission to use them; in other words, we'll let visitors know if you don't see a water trail sign, please don't go there.
We will focus on educating visitors to avoid trespass on private property. Visitors will be able to determine ahead of their trip which sites are part of the water trail and are available for landing. Information about these sites will be provided in many forms and at many outlets so people are aware of them and know what to look for when they travel along the water trail. GPS coordinates for these sites will be provided.
We will maintain contact with private and public landowners along the water trail, keeping an open dialogue and ensuring a point of contact should they have a negative encounter with a water trail user. We have no enforcement capabilities, however; safety and law enforcement issues remain the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard and Alaska State Parks (for Kachemak Bay State Park land). Property owners who need law enforcement help are encouraged to follow normal procedures with these entities.
If a commercial operator wants to offer lodging, rental or other trail-related business opportunities along the water trail, how do they do that?
Site owners must apply to have their site listed as an official water trail site. Application instructions and the application itself soon will be available on the water trail website. The application will include questions about operating hours, facilities, safety measures taken, and possible commitments to enhancing their site facilities to provide new opportunities. As part of the application process, owners also will have to provide a completed inventory form for their proposed water trail site. All applicants must agree to participate on the KBWT Steering Committee or in some other manner help manage and maintain the larger water trail.
A written agreement will be established between the KBWT Steering Committee and property owners to confirm roles and responsibilities. The Steering Committee will develop standards that all proposed private or commercial sites must meet to qualify for inclusion in the water trail. Before they are finalized, these standards will be tested on actual sites to ensure they work. These standards will ensure each official water trail site meets association and visitor expectations for a safe, high quality experience. Commercial operators may be charged a fee for their site to become an official water trail site. This money will be used to market the water trail and for other water trail administrative purposes.