Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

Alaska has nearly 34,000 miles of shoreline—more than all of the lower 48 U.S. combined—and 3,095 miles are protected within parks. The ocean is an integral part of Alaska's aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, weather, economy, history, and culture. As changes occur and pressures on the ocean's resource increase, it is more important than ever to monitor, understand, minimize impact, and preserve resources associated with oceans and coastline.
When a massive seabird die-off coincided with an extreme marine heatwave, we knew the ocean ecosystem had dramatically changed. We found every level of the food web was altered.

Check out more science and outreach about marine and coastal resources with the Ocean Alaska Science and Learning Center, and more about oceans throughout the National Park Service. Keep up to date with the latest research on oceans and coastal research through Currents, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve's science blog. Also, check out the Arcitc-Pacific Ocean Stewardship Strategy.
coastal and marine habitats
Coastal and Marine Habitats

The coastal and marine environments have a wide range of habitats for marine mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates, and more.

coastal wildlife
Marine and Coastal Wildlife

Alaska has amazing diversity of marine and coastal wildlife.

a curious seal pops out of the icy waters
Marine and Coastal Issues of Concern

Learn more about issues of concern related to Alaska's coasts and marine ecosystems

Human Connections
Human Connections

For thousands of years people have lived along the coast and depended on coastal and marine resources. Our relationship continues today.

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    Learn more about Alaska's coastal and marine resources

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      Last updated: July 7, 2021