Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge  

  • Size: 19 million acres
  • Established: First protected by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1909; current boundaries set in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

Where the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers meet the sea is one of the largest river deltas in the world. This huge complex of tundra and wetlands, sprawling for dozens of miles along the lower reaches of both rivers, forms the heart of the Yukon Delta refuge.

The boggy, wet country is perfect habitat for waterfowl. Ducks, geese and other birds appear by the millions every spring, returning to lay eggs and hatch their babies.

With about 19 million acres, the Yukon Delta Refuge is as big as Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont put together. Located in the far southwest corner of Alaska, it’s the homeland of Yupik Eskimos, a thriving traditional culture that relies on the natural bounty of the refuge. Some 25,000 Natives live within refuge boundaries, in 35 different villages.

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