Alaska Seas and Watersheds Curriculum

Importance of Alaska’s Coastal Ecosystems

  • 40% of the seafood harvested in American waters comes from the Bering Sea alone.

  • Eighty percent of Alaska’s people live on the coast and in some communities.

  • In Western Alaska, more than 600 pounds per person of subsistence-harvested animals and plants are consumed annually.

  • Fishing for wild salmon is the state’s commercial fishing economic backbone and engages local residents from Ketchikan to Kotzebue above the Arctic Circle.

  • Alaska is the U.S. Arctic, which is proving to be one of the most sensitive ecosystems to a warming climate.