Alaska is surrounded on three sides by big water from three different seas: the Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Sea. The state claims 6,640 miles of coastline and, including islands, has 33,904 miles of shoreline. When considering the estimated tidal shoreline, including islands, inlets sounds and bays, it all adds up to a staggering 47,300 miles!
All that coastline makes marine mammals accessible to tourists cruising the edges of the State. There are eight species of whales that frequent the chilly, even icy, waters of Alaska including the Beluga, Humpback, Grey, Orca, Bowhead, Blue, Right and Minke whales. The Blue whale is the largest animal on earth at up to 100 feet long and weighing as much as 150 tons. That’s the size of a Boeing jet. Its heart is as large as a small car. No wonder whale watching is a top Alaskan tourist activity.
The Alaskan shore offers mile after mile of epic scenery featuring snow-capped mountains, birds, wildlife and mighty glaciers. When a glacier is fed by enough snow to flow out of the mountains and down to the sea, it’s called a “tidewater” glacier, examples of which are found in Alaska’s Glacier Bay. Tourists can walk up and touch some glaciers while others require even the largest cruise ships to stay at least two miles away because of the great blocks of ice up to 200 feet high that can break loose and crash into the water.
Naturally, where there is coastline, there is fresh seafood on the menu. Alaska is no different. According to alaskaseafood.org, “Alaska is the top U.S. seafood producer, producing 5.6 billion pounds in 2014, 60% of total U.S. commercial fisheries production.” The seafood industry employs 27,000 workers in Alaska representing $129 million in revenue for state and local governments. For tourists, it means “fresh catch of the day” topping many a menu with salmon, crab, cod, shrimp and more.
When you register to give blood with Community Blood Center this summer, now through September 3, 2016, you will be automatically entered to win an Alaskan Adventure for Two. To learn more, visit GivingBlood.org.