Location and Contact Information
Much of the refuge has been protected as afor over a century, and we recognize that refuge lands are the ancestral homelands of Alaska Native people. Development of sophisticated tools and the abundance of coastal and marine wildlife have made it possible for people to thrive here for thousands of years. Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge stretches across the traditional homelands of the Unangax̂/Aleut in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, as well as smaller parcels on the homelands of Alutiiq/Sugpiak, Yup’ik/Cup’ik, Iñupiat, Dena'ina, Tlingit, Haida, and Eyak peoples.
Most of the refuge is federally designated Wilderness.
What We Do
We conserve, protect, and restore the diverse lands, waters, wildlife, and cultural resources of the refuge through excellence in education, outreach, and a program of scientific research on marine resources. Our vision is a viable, abundant, and resilient community of marine life which scientists, indigenous communities, and the public are actively engaged in conservation.
The islands and coastal lands of the Alaska Maritime Refuge are bird magnets for seabirds whose only other home is the ocean; for birds migrating along Asian routes and needing to rest and eat; for birds that evolved on these remote islands and breed nowhere else.
The abundance of seabirds and marine mammals that breed and raise their young on the lands of the Alaska Maritime Refuge is due to the banquet of marine foods in surrounding waters.
On the mainland areas of the refuge, the native mammals are similar to those of nearby areas. On islands, however, native land mammals are either absent or sometimes unique because they have been isolated in their development since the Ice Age. Marine mammals use these coastal lands to breed, raise their young, and rest.
From the windswept and treeless Aleutian and Pribilof Islands to the lush forests of southeast Alaska, remote island habitats are home to unique plant species, including the endangered Aleutian Shield Fern.
So much of our work depends on volunteers, Friends, and partnerships.
Projects and Research
We study marine birds, watching for changes in the marine environment that signal conservation problems. Our monitoring program provides long-term, time-series data. When the data reveal biologically-significant changes, scientists can test hypotheses about the causes of those changes. This long-term monitoring program is an integral part of the management of the Alaska Maritime Refuge. The information it provides is used to define "normal" variability in demographic parameters and identify patterns that fall outside norms, thereby signaling conservation issues. The Research Vessel Tiĝlax̂ is key to accomplishing our mission.