Issues Impacting Southwest Alaska Parks

While Southwest Alaska parklands are in good ecological condition, their coastal and freshwater ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to disturbances and impacts. Learn about some of the issues impacting our parks.
  • A marine inlet.
    Marine Heatwave

    The Pacific Marine Heatwave (2014-2016) had impacts throughout the marine food chain. Marine heatwaves will continue to occur.

  • A pile of dead Common Murres on the beach.
    Seabird Die-Offs

    Although seabird die-off events are not uncommon, recent die-offs have been extraordinarily extensive.

  • A diseased sea star.
    Sea Star Wasting Syndrome

    Sea stars are top predators in nearshore marine ecosystems. A disease that started in 2013 and 2014 changed sea star communities in Alaska.

  • A ranger carries bags of marine debris to a plane to fly it out.
    Marine Debris

    Trash, especially plastic waste, is a serious concern in the world’s oceans. A marine debris clean-up was conducted in Kenai Fjords.

  • A ranger searches for submerged plants in a lake.
    Invasive Species, Elodea

    Elodea is an invasive water plant that can damage native ecosystems. We keep an eye out for this plant and are ready to act if we find it.

  • The rocky interface between the sea and shore.
    Marine and Coastal Issues

    Many different issues are impacting Alaska's marine ecosystems and coastal resources, these impacts are both physical and biological.

Last updated: October 27, 2022