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Alaska State Marine Parks  

Alaska State Marine Parks

Enclosed by mountains and glaciers, and protected from the high seas by barrier islands, Prince William Sound and Resurrection Bay represent two of Alaska's premier recreation areas for water-based activities. Fjords, bays, coves, lakes, glaciers, mountains and hundreds of islands provide scenic settings for visitors that arrive in kayaks, cruise ships and sailboats. Activities in the parks range from fishing, clamming and island camping to wildlife viewing and a visit to one of the world's largest fish hatcheries. These areas are home to no less than 20 state parks.

There are eight state marine parks in the vicinity of the small town of Whittier, the closest being Decision Point, Entry Cove, Surprise Cove and Ziegler Cove. Farther away, within Prince William Sound, are Granite Bay, South Esther Island, Bettles Bay and Horseshoe Bay.

Three state marine parks - Shoup Bay, Sawmill Bay and Jack Bay - surround the city of Valdez, and around the city of Cordova are Canoe Passage, Boswell Bay and Kayak Island. Located 50 miles southeast of Cordova, the lightly visited Kayak Island preserves the site where the first European, Georg Steller, set foot in Alaska in 1741 as part of the Bering Expedition.

The waters off the coast of Seward are also flush with life and natural wonders with five state marine parks: Thumb Cove, Sandspit Point, Sunny Cove, Driftwood Bay and Safety Cove. Thumb Cove, only nine miles south of Seward on the east side of Resurrection Bay, showcases Porcupine Glacier which towers above the 720-acre park to provide a dramatic backdrop to Seward's most popular marine destination.

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