Natural Features & Ecosystems
NPS / Paige Calamari
Kenai Fjords National Park was established in 1980 to "maintain unimpaired the scenic and environmental integrity of the Harding Icefield, its outflowing glaciers and coastal fjords and islands…" Within the enabling legislation lies the thrust of the park's natural features. This park is about ice and its legacy: glaciers, icefields and coastal fjords. The steady movement of glaciers shapes the shoreline. Intertidal and subtidal zones along the coast are fed by rich nutrient cycling in the Gulf of Alaska. As climate changes and glaciers recede, pioneer plants move in to prepare the land for the forests to come.