Glacier Bay National Park Facts

Glacier Bay National Park Facts
Glacier Bay National Park is a 3,223,384 acre park located in Alaska's panhandle in the United States. In 1925 President Calvin Coolidge declared the area a national monument. Following the passing of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and expansion and enlargement of the monument, it was re-designated as Glacier Bay National Park in 1980. A year earlier it had also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and later, in 1986, it was also classified as a Biosphere Reserve. Included in Glacier Bay National Park's protected area are 600,000 acres of marine ecosystems, and as well as important Tlingit ancestral homelands.
Interesting Glacier Bay National Park Facts:
It is believed that humans occupied Glacier Bay as far back as 10,000 years ago. The first exploration to the region by non-native inhabitants occurred in the 1700s.
When Glacier Bay was first visited in the 1790s by Joseph Whidbey on an expedition it was covered almost completely by ice.
In 1879 it was discovered by John Muir (a naturalist) that the ice had retreated by about 48 miles up the bay.
In 1916 the ice had retreated much further, making this glacier retreat the fastest one recorded in history.
Glacier Bay National Park is home to the world's largest marine sanctuary.
The majority of tourists that visit Glacier Bay (approximately 80%) arrive aboard cruise ships and can take smaller boats to see features that cruise ships cannot approach.
Glacier Bay collects water from many glaciers and mountains in the area.
Glacier Bay has an average depth of 800 feet and a maximum depth of 1,410 feet.
Despite its size, Glacier Bay National Park only encompasses 1% of Alaska's land.
At the top of the tallest peak in Glacier Bay National Park, at Mount Fairweather, the U.S. - Canadian border crosses through.
Because of the way the sunlight hits the tightly packed glacial ice at Glacier Bay, the glacier surfaces often look blue.
Wildlife found in Glacier Bay National Park includes Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, Alaskan moose, black-tailed deer, raccoons, red foxes, Dall sheep, wolverines, mountain goats, Canadian lynxes, cougars, and marmots.
Birds that can be seen in Glacier Bay National Park include woodpecker species, golden eagles, hummingbirds, ravens, bald eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, and ospreys.
Marine mammals that can be found offshore in Glacier Bay National Park include orcas, minke whales, humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters and salmon.
Glaciers cover about 27% of Glacier Bay National Park. This equals approximately 2,055 square miles.
There are 1,045 glaciers identified in Glacier Bay National Park at last count.
There are more than 50 named glaciers in the park including Grand Pacific (2 miles wide by 35 miles long), Johns Hopkins (1 mile wide by 12.5 miles long), Margerie (1 mile wide by 21 miles long), and Lamplugh (.75 miles wide by 16 miles long).
7 of the glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park are tidewater glaciers. This type of glacier calves icebergs into the water.
In the last 150 years there have been 5 major earthquakes in Glacier Bay National Park's region.

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