The Aleutian Range is a major mountain range located in southwest Alaska. It extends from Chakachamna Lake to Unimak Island, at the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, it includes all of the mountains of the Peninsula. The Aleutian Range is special because of its large number of active volcanoes, which are part of the larger Aleutian Arc; the mainland part of the range is about 600 miles long. The Aleutian Islands are a submerged western extension of the range that stretches for another 1,600 km; however the official designation "Aleutian Range" includes only the mainland peaks and the peaks on Unimak Island. The range is entirely roadless wilderness. Katmai National Park and Preserve, a large national park within the range, must be reached by boat or plane; the core Aleutian Range can be divided into three mountain groups. Listed from southwest to northeast, they are: Mountains of the Alaska Peninsula and Unimak Island Chigmit Mountains Neacola MountainsSee Aleutian Islands for the continuation of the range to the west of Unimak Island.
Just to the north of the Aleutian Range are the Tordrillo Mountains, the southeasternmost extent of the Alaska Range. Selected mountains: Mount Redoubt, Chigmit Mountains Iliamna Volcano, Chigmit Mountains Mount Neacola, Neacola Mountains Mount Shishaldin, Unimak Island Mount Pavlof, Alaska Peninsula Mount Veniaminof, Alaska Peninsula Isanotski Peaks, Unimak Island Mount Denison, Alaska Peninsula Mount Griggs, Alaska Peninsula Mount Douglas, Alaska Peninsula Mount Chiginagak, Alaska Peninsula Double Peak, Chigmit Mountains Mount Katmai, Alaska Peninsula Pogromni Volcano, Unimak Island Mount Okmok, Fox Islands Two volcanoes erupted during the summer of 2008 on the eastern Aleutian Islands. On July 12, 2008, Mount Okmok erupted, it continued to erupt for a month. A giant moving ash and gas cloud shot up to a height of 15,240 m as a result of this eruption. Mount Kasatochi was home to the other eruption, which occurred on August 7 and 8; this eruption sent up a gas cloud about 15,000 high. Together, these two power volcanic eruptions deposited emissions of trace gases an aerosols into the atmosphere.
These emissions formed a sulfate aerosol layer that totaled a transfer of 1.6 Tg of SO2 into the stratosphere and disturbed flights over this area for a short period following the eruptions. The 7.9 Mw Aleutian Islands earthquake occurred in June 2014 at an intermediate depth of 107 km. The quake was caused by oblique normal faulting along the Aleutian Trench, a convergent boundary where the Pacific plate is subducting underneath the North American plate at around 59 mm/year. List of earthquakes in Alaska U. S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Aleutian Range
Copper River (Alaska)
The Copper River or Ahtna River, Ahtna Athabascan ‘Atna’tuu, "river of the Ahtnas", Tlingit Eeḵhéeni, "river of copper", is a 290-mile river in south-central Alaska in the United States. It drains a large region of the Wrangell Mountains and Chugach Mountains into the Gulf of Alaska, it is known for its extensive delta ecosystem, as well as for its prolific runs of wild salmon, which are among the most prized stocks in the world. The river is the tenth largest in the United States, as ranked by average discharge volume at its mouth; the Copper River rises out of the Copper Glacier, which lies on the northeast side of Mount Wrangell, in the Wrangell Mountains, within Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park. It begins by flowing due north in a valley that lies on the east side of Mount Sanford, turns west, forming the northwest edge of the Wrangell Mountains and separating them from the Mentasta Mountains to the northeast, it continues to turn southeast, through a wide marshy plain to Chitina, where it is joined from the southeast by the Chitina River.
The Copper River is 290 miles long. It drops an average of about 12 feet per mile, drains more than 24,000 square miles —an area the size of West Virginia; the river runs at an average of 7 miles per hour. Downstream from its confluence with the Chitina it flows southwest, passing through a narrow glacier-lined gap in the Chugach Mountains within the Chugach National Forest east of Cordova Peak. There is an extensive area of linear sand dunes up to 250 feet in height radiating from the mouth of the Copper River. Both Miles Glacier and Childs Glacier calve directly into the river; the Copper enters the Gulf of Alaska southeast of Cordova where it creates a delta nearly 50 miles wide. The name of the river comes from the abundant copper deposits along the upper river that were used by Alaska Native population and later by settlers from the Russian Empire and the United States. Extraction of the copper resources was problematic due to navigation difficulties at the river's mouth; the construction of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway from Cordova through the upper river valley from 1908 to 1911 allowed widespread extraction of the mineral resources, in particular from the Kennecott Mine, discovered in 1898.
The mine was abandoned in 1938 and is now a ghost town tourist attraction and historic district maintained by the National Park Service. Copper River Highway runs from Cordova to the lower Copper River near Childs Glacier, following the old railroad route and ending at the reconstructed Million Dollar Bridge across the river; the Tok Cut-Off follows the Copper River Valley on the north side of the Chugach Mountains. The river's famous salmon runs arise from the use of the river watershed by over 2 million salmon each year for spawning; the extensive runs result in many unique varieties, prized for their fat content. The river's commercial salmon season is brief, beginning in May for chinook salmon and sockeye salmon for periods lasting days or hours at a time. Sport fishing by contrast is open all year long, but peak season on the Copper River lasts from August to September when the coho salmon runs; the fisheries are co-managed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Department of the Interior Federal Subsistence Board.
Management data are obtained by ADF&G at the Miles Lake sonar station and the native village of Eyak at the Baird Canyon and Canyon Creek research stations. The Copper River Delta, which extends for 700,000 acres, is the largest contiguous wetlands along the Pacific coast of North America, it is used annually by 16 million shorebirds, including the world's entire population of western sandpipers and dunlins. It is home to the world's largest population of nesting trumpeter swans and is the only known nesting site for the dusky Canada goose subspecies. List of rivers of Alaska Brabets, Timothy P.. Geomorphology of the Lower Copper River, Alaska. Washington, D. C.: U. S. Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological Survey. Ecotrust Copper River Program Copper River salmon habitat management study Prepared for Ecotrust by Marie E. Lowe of the Institute of Social and Economic Research, hosted by Alaska State Publications Program Alaska Department of Fish and Game: Copper River Salmon Eyak Preservation Council Nature Conservancy: Copper River Delta The Copper River Watershed Project NVE Fisheries Research and Seasonal Employment on the Copper River Cordova District Fishermen United Wrangell-St.
Elias National Park information Copper River | Chitina Dipnet Fishery Escapement Charts
Soldotna is a home rule city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, in the U. S. state of Alaska. At the 2010 census the population was 4,163, up from 3,759 in 2000, it is the seat of the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Soldotna is located in the Southcentral portion of Alaska on the central-western portion of the Kenai Peninsula; the city limits span 7 square miles along the Kenai River, which empties into the Cook Inlet in the nearby city of Kenai. The Kenai River was selected by CNN Travel as one of the "World's 15 Best Rivers for Travelers," due to its fishing and hunting opportunities. Soldotna is located on the western edge of the vast Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a protected area spanning nearly 2 million acres and home to bears, caribou and many fish and bird species; the city is located at the junction of the Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Highway, which has enabled Soldotna to develop as a service and retail hub for the Central Peninsula as well as for travelers between Anchorage and Homer.
The Central Peninsula Hospital serves the medical needs of the region's tourists. The Kenai Peninsula College, a branch of the University of Alaska Anchorage, operates the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna. Additionally, the headquarters of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District are located in the city. In 1947, after World War II, the United States government withdrew a number of townships along Cook Inlet and the lower Kenai River from the Kenai National Moose Range, opening up the area to settlement under the Homestead Act. Veterans of the United States armed services were given a 90-day preference over non-veterans in selecting land and filing for property. In that year, the Sterling Highway right-of-way was cleared of trees from Cooper Landing to Kenai; the location of present-day Soldotna was selected as the site for the highway's bridge crossing the Kenai River. The construction of the Sterling Highway provided a link from the Soldotna area to the outside world.
More homesteads were taken and visitors came to fish in the area. The Soldotna Post Office opened in 1949 and other businesses opened in the next few years. Oil was discovered in the Swanson River region in 1957, bringing new economic development to the area. In 1960, Soldotna was incorporated as a fourth class city with a population of 332 and an area of 7.4 square miles. Seven years in 1967, Soldotna was recognized as a first class city. In 1964, the Kenai Peninsula College, the Kenai Peninsula Borough government, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District were formed; the city experienced rapid population growth in the 1960s through the 1990s as a result of its location at the intersection of two major highways and due to development of the oil industry on the Kenai Peninsula. As the City and the oil industry have matured, population growth has somewhat slowed, although the city experienced more growth from 2000-2010 than during the previous decade. Soldotna is located at 60°29′12″N 151°4′31″W.
Soldotna is located on the banks of the Kenai River on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. It is named after nearby Soldotna Creek. There are multiple theories explaining the origin of the word "Soldotna". According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.4 square miles, of which 6.9 square miles of it is land and 0.5 square miles of it is water. As with much of Southcentral Alaska, Soldotna has a moderate subarctic climate due to the cool summers, though the diurnal temperature variation is larger than most locations in the region. Winters are snowy, long but not cold considering the latitude, with January featuring a daily average temperature of 13.4 °F. There are 46 nights of sub-0 °F lows annually, the area lies in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 4, indicating an average annual minimum in the −20 to −30 °F range. Summers are cool due with 12 days of 70 °F + highs annually. Soldotna first appeared on the 1960 U. S. Census as an unincorporated village, it formally incorporated in 1967.
As of the US Census of 2010, there were 4,163 people residing in 1,720 households in the city. The population density was 563 people per square mile; the racial makeup of the city was 86 percent White, 0.3 percent Black or African American, 4.3 percent Native American, 1.6 percent Asian, 0.3 percent Pacific Islander, 0.8 percent from other races, 6.8 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino residents of all races comprised 3.9 percent of the population. There were 1,720 households out of which 30.1 percent had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44 percent were married couples living together, 11.9 percent had a female householder with no husband present, 38.7 percent were non-families. Of all households, 32 percent were made up of individuals living alone, 9.2 percent of whom were 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.02. The age distribution of the population shows 26 percent under the age of 18 and 13 percent age 65 or older.
The median age was 34.6 years. The 2012 estimated median income for a household in the city was $44,805, the median income for a family was $56,208; the per capita income for the city was $30,553. About 3 percent of families and 6.1 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9 percent of those under age 18 and 8.3 percent of those age 65 or over. Soldotna is home to the Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus, a division of the University of Alaska Anchorage
Kenai is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U. S. state of Alaska. The population was 7,100 as of the 2010 census, up from 6,942 in 2000; the city of Kenai is named after the local Dena'ina word'ken' or'kena', which means'flat, open area with few trees. D. published in 2007. This describes the area along the portion of the Kenai River near the City of Kenai. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was first occupied by the Kachemak people from 1000 B. C. until they were displaced by the Dena'ina Athabaskan people around 1000 A. D. Before the arrival of the Russians, Kenai was a Dena'ina village called Shk'ituk't, meaning "where we slide down." When Russian fur traders first arrived in 1741, about 1,000 Dena'ina lived in the village. The traders called the people "Kenaitze", a Russian term for "people of the flats", or "Kenai people"; this name was adopted when they were incorporated as the Kenaitze Indian Tribe in the early 1970s. In 1786 Pytor Zaikov built Fort Nikolaevskaia for the Lebedev-Lastochkin Company on the site of modern Kenai, being the first European settlement on the Alaskan mainland.
Hostilities surfaced between the natives and settlers in 1797, culminating in an incident in which the Dena'ina attacked Fort St. Nicholas dubbed the battle of Kenai. Over one hundred deaths occurred from all involved parties. In 1838, the introduction of smallpox killed one half of the Dena'ina population. In 1869, after the Alaska Purchase, the United States Army established, it was soon abandoned. In 1888 a prospector named; the amount of gold was small compared to the gold finds in the Klondike and Fairbanks. In 1895-96, the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church was built in the village, it is still in use today. The establishment of shipping companies in the early 1900s broadened Kenai into a port city. Canning companies were established and helped fuel the commercial fishing boom, the primary activity through the 1920s. In 1937, construction of the Kenai Airport began. In 1940, homesteads were opened in the area; the first dirt road from Anchorage was constructed in 1951.
A military base, Wildwood Army Station, was established in 1953, served as a major communications post. Wildwood was conveyed in 1974 to the Kenai Native Association in partial settlement of Alaska Native land claims; the facility was leased and purchased by the State of Alaska and presently serves as the Wildwood Correctional Complex. In 1965, offshore oil discoveries in Cook Inlet caused a period of rapid growth, they were a part of a series of oil deposits located during the middle of the 20th century. In 1957, oil was discovered at Swanson River, 20 miles northeast of Kenai; this was the first major oil discovery in Alaska. In 1992 and 2011, Kenai was named one of the All-America Cities. In 2008, the Kenai River was designated as a Category 5, or "impaired," water body by the State of Alaska in accordance with the federal Clean Water Act; the Kenai River Working Group was formed to address the issue of water pollution. By 2010, the status of the river was changed to a Category 2, or "water that attains its designated uses."
Kenai is located at 60°33′31″N 151°13′47″W, on the west side of the Kenai Peninsula near the outlet of the Kenai River to the Cook Inlet of the Pacific Ocean. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.5 square miles, of which, 29.9 square miles of it is land and 5.6 square miles of it is water. As with much of Southcentral Alaska, Kenai has a moderate subarctic climate due to the cool summers. Winters are snowy, long but not cold considering the latitude, with January featuring a daily average temperature of 15.8 °F. Snow averages 63.6 inches per season, falling from October thru March, with some accumulation in April, in May or September. There are 37 nights of sub-0 °F lows annually, the area lies in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 4, indicating an average annual minimum in the −20 to −30 °F range. Summers are cool due to the marine influence, with 75 °F + highs or 55 °F + lows being rare. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −48 °F on February 4, 1947 up to 93 °F on June 14, 1969.
Kenai first appeared on the 1880 U. S. Census as the unincorporated "Creole" village of Kenai Rédoute, it was shortened to Kenai with the 1890 census. It was incorporated in 1960; as of the census of 2000, there were 6,942 people, 2,622 households, 1,788 families residing in the city. The population density was 232.2 people per square mile. There were 3,003 housing units at an average density of 100.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 82.76% White, 0.49% Black or African American, 8.74% Native American, 1.66% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 1.12% from other races, 5.00% from two or more races. 3.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 2,622 households out of which 40.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.8% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.64 and the ave
Transportation in Alaska
This article discusses transportation in the U. S. state of Alaska. Alaska is arguably the least-connected state in terms of road transportation; the state's road system covers a small area of the state, linking the central population centers and the Alaska Highway, the principal route out of the state through Canada. The state capital, Juneau, is not accessible by road, which has spurred several debates over the decades about moving the capital to a city on the road system. One unique feature of the road system is the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, which links the Seward Highway south of Anchorage with the isolated community of Whittier; the tunnel held the title of the longest road tunnel in North America until completion of the 3.5 mile Interstate 93 tunnel as part of the "Big Dig" project in Boston, Massachusetts. The tunnel retains the title of the longest combination rail tunnel in North America. Top of the World Highway Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel Million Dollar Bridge Knik Arm Crossing Gravina Island Bridge Bering Strait bridge The Alaska Railroad runs from Seward through Anchorage and Fairbanks to North Pole, with spurs to Whittier and Palmer.
It carries both freight and passengers throughout its system, but only runs daily passenger service in the summer to accommodate tourists and a more limited weekly passenger service in the winter for residents. The railroad plays a vital part in moving Alaska's natural resources, such as coal and gravel, to ports in Anchorage and Seward; the Alaska Railroad is one of the few remaining railroads in North America to use cabooses in regular service and offers one of the last flag stop routes in the country. A stretch of about 60 miles of track along an area inaccessible by road serves as the only transportation to cabins in the area. Although rail ferry service links Alaska with Washington state and British Columbia, there are plans to link Alaska to the rest of the North American rail network via Yukon Territory and British Columbia. An additional isolated system is the White Pass and Yukon Route established in 1898. Nearly all larger cities and boroughs across the state operate local bus systems, including Anchorage, Juneau, Sitka and Bethel.
While Greyhound does not operate in Alaska, there are numerous private bus companies in the state that offer regional bus service, with Anchorage and Fairbanks as the primary hub cities. Many cities and villages in the state are accessible only by air. Alaska has a well-developed ferry system, known as the Alaska Marine Highway, which serves the cities of Southeast, South central and the Alaska Peninsula; the system operates a ferry service from Bellingham and Prince Rupert, British Columbia in Canada up the Inside Passage to Skagway. In the Prince of Wales Island region of Southeast, the Inter-Island Ferry Authority serves as an important marine link for many communities, works in concert with the Alaska Marine Highway. Cruise ships are an popular way for tourists to see Alaska. Alaska Marine Highway System Inside Passage Port of Anchorage Valdez oil terminal Cities not served by road or sea can only be reached by air, accounting for Alaska's well developed bush air services—an Alaskan novelty.
Anchorage itself, to a lesser extent Fairbanks, are serviced by many major airlines. Air travel is the cheapest and most efficient form of transportation out of the state. Anchorage completed extensive remodeling and construction at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to help accommodate the upsurge in tourism. However, regular flights to most villages and towns within the state are commercially challenging to provide. Alaska Airlines is the only major airline offering in-state travel with jet service from Anchorage and Fairbanks to regional hubs like Bethel, Kotzebue, Dillingham and other larger communities as well as to major Southeast and Alaska Peninsula communities; the bulk of remaining commercial flight offerings come from small regional commuter airlines like: Ravn Alaska, PenAir, Frontier Flying Service. The smallest towns and villages must rely on scheduled or chartered bush flying services using general aviation aircraft such as the Cessna Caravan, the most popular aircraft in use in the state.
Much of this service can be attributed to the Alaska bypass mail program which subsidizes bulk mail delivery to Alaskan rural communities. The program requires 70% of that subsidy to go to carriers who offer passenger service to the communities, but the most quintessentially Alaskan plane is the bush seaplane. The world's busiest seaplane base is Lake Hood, located next to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, where flights bound for remote villages without an airstrip carry passengers, an abundance of items from stores and warehouse clubs. Alaska has the highest number of pilots per capita of any U. S. state: out of the estimated 663,661 residents, 8,550 are pilots, or about one in every 78. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Fairbanks International Airport Juneau International Airport Ketchikan International Airport Bush flying Another Alaskan transportation method is the dogsled. In modern times, dog mushing is more of a sport than a true means of transportation. Various races are held around the state, but the best known is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, a 1,150-mile trail from Anchorage to Nome.
The race commemorates the fa
Alaska is a U. S. state in the northwest extremity of North America, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the state to the east and southeast, its most extreme western part is Attu Island, it has a maritime border with Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—southern parts of the Arctic Ocean; the Pacific Ocean lies to southwest. It is the largest U. S. state by the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States. Half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. Military bases and tourism are a significant part of the economy; the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U. S. dollars at two cents per acre. The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912.
It was admitted as the 49th state of the U. S. on January 3, 1959. The name "Alaska" was introduced in the Russian colonial period when it was used to refer to the Alaska Peninsula, it was derived from an Aleut-language idiom. It means object to which the action of the sea is directed. Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States and has the most easterly longitude in the United States because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere. Alaska is the only non-contiguous U. S. state on continental North America. It is technically part of the continental U. S. but is sometimes not included in colloquial use. S. called "the Lower 48". The capital city, Juneau, is situated on the mainland of the North American continent but is not connected by road to the rest of the North American highway system; the state is bordered by Yukon and British Columbia in Canada, to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea to the west and the Arctic Ocean to the north.
Alaska's territorial waters touch Russia's territorial waters in the Bering Strait, as the Russian Big Diomede Island and Alaskan Little Diomede Island are only 3 miles apart. Alaska has a longer coastline than all the other U. S. states combined. Alaska is the largest state in the United States by total area at 663,268 square miles, over twice the size of Texas, the next largest state. Alaska is larger than all but 18 sovereign countries. Counting territorial waters, Alaska is larger than the combined area of the next three largest states: Texas and Montana, it is larger than the combined area of the 22 smallest U. S. states. There are no defined borders demarcating the various regions of Alaska, but there are six accepted regions: The most populous region of Alaska, containing Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and the Kenai Peninsula. Rural unpopulated areas south of the Alaska Range and west of the Wrangell Mountains fall within the definition of South Central, as do the Prince William Sound area and the communities of Cordova and Valdez.
Referred to as the Panhandle or Inside Passage, this is the region of Alaska closest to the rest of the United States. As such, this was where most of the initial non-indigenous settlement occurred in the years following the Alaska Purchase; the region is dominated by the Alexander Archipelago as well as the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States. It contains the state capital Juneau, the former capital Sitka, Ketchikan, at one time Alaska's largest city; the Alaska Marine Highway provides a vital surface transportation link throughout the area, as only three communities enjoy direct connections to the contiguous North American road system. Designated in 1963; the Interior is the largest region of Alaska. Fairbanks is the only large city in the region. Denali National Park and Preserve is located here. Denali is the highest mountain in North America. Southwest Alaska is a sparsely inhabited region stretching some 500 miles inland from the Bering Sea. Most of the population lives along the coast.
Kodiak Island is located in Southwest. The massive Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, one of the largest river deltas in the world, is here. Portions of the Alaska Peninsula are considered part of Southwest, with the remaining portions included with the Aleutian Islands; the North Slope is tundra peppered with small villages. The area is known for its massive reserves of crude oil, contains both the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska and the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field; the city of Utqiagvik known as Barrow, is the northernmost city in the United States and is located here. The Northwest Arctic area, anchored by Kotzebue and containing the Kobuk River valley, is regarded as being part of this region. However, the respective Inupiat of the No
Cordova is a small town located near the mouth of the Copper River in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, United States, at the head of Orca Inlet on the east side of Prince William Sound. The population was 2,239 at the 2010 census, down from 2,454 in 2000. Cordova was named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo in 1790. No roads connect Cordova to other Alaskan towns, so a plane or ferry is required to travel there. In the Exxon Valdez oil spill of March 1989, an oil tanker ran aground northwest of Cordova damaging ecology and fishing, it was cleaned up shortly after, but there are lingering effects, such as a lowered population of some birds. In 1790 the inlet in front of the current Cordova townsite was named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo, after Spanish admiral Luis de Córdova y Córdova; the town of Cordova was named after it, although the inlet itself was renamed the Orca Inlet. Cordova proper was founded as a result of the discovery of high-grade copper ore at Kennecott, north of Cordova.
A group of surveyors from Valdez laid out a town site and Michael James Heney purchased half the land for the terminus of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway after determining that the neighboring town of Katalla was a poor harbor. Heney and his crew held a brief ceremony to organize the town on March 26, 1906. A week crews arrived to begin work on the railroad; the first lots in the new town site, which make up the heart of present-day Cordova, were sold at auction in May 1908. As the railroad grew, so did the town. Schools, businesses, a hospital, utilities were established. After the railroad was completed Cordova became the transportation hub for the ore coming out of Kennecott. In the years 1911 to 1938, more than 200 million tons of copper ore was transported through Cordova; the area around Cordova was home to the Eyak, with a population of Chugach to the west, occasional visits from Ahtna and Tlingit people for trade or battle. The last full-blooded Eyak Marie Smith Jones died in 2008, but the native traditions and lifestyle still has an influence on the local culture.
Cordova was once the home of a booming razor clam industry, between 1916 and the late 1950s it was known as the "Razor Clam Capital of the World". Commercial harvest in the area was as much as 3.5 million pounds. Returns began declining in the late 1950s due to overharvesting and a large die-off in 1958; the 1964 Good Friday earthquake and obliterated the industry. There has been no commercial harvest in the area since 1988 with the exception of a brief harvest in 1993. In March 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef northwest of Cordova causing one of the most devastating environmental disasters in North America; the Exxon Valdez oil spill affected the area's salmon and herring populations leading to a recession of the local fishing-reliant economy as well as disrupting the general ecology of the area. After many years of litigation, 450 million dollars were awarded for compensatory and punitive damages. Cordova first appeared on the 1910 U. S. Census as an incorporated city.
It incorporated the year before in 1909. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 2,239 people residing in the city; the racial makeup of the city was 68.3% White, 0.4% Black, 8.7% Native American, 10.7% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander and 7.6% from two or more races. 4.2% were Hispanic or Latino of any race. As of the census of 2000, there were 2,454 people, 958 households, 597 families residing in the city; the population density was 40.0 per square mile. There are 1,099 housing units at an average density of 17.9 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 71.11% White, 23.6% Native American, 10.07% Asian, 0.41% Black or African American, 1.34% from other races, 6.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.06% of the population. There were 958 households out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.6% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.17. In the city, the population was spread out with 28.0% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 25.4% from 45 to 64, 6.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 119.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 120.4 males. The median income for a household in the city was $50,114, the median income for a family was $65,625. Males had a median income of $40,444 versus $26,985 for females; the per capita income for the city was $25,256. About 4.3% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under the age of 18 and 6.2% of those 65 and older. Cordova is located within the Chugach National Forest at 60°32′34.1″N 145°45′36.59″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 75.6 square miles, of which, 61.4 square miles of it is land and 14.3 square miles of it is water.
The total area is 18.87% water. Cordova has a subpolar oceanic climate according to the Köppen climate classification system, with cool temperatures and heavy rainfall caused by orographic lift. Westerly winds coming off the North Pacific Ocean are forced upwards by the Chugach Mountains, which causes the air mass to cool and creates clouds and precipitation; the yearly average r