Akhiok, Kodiak Island

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Akhiok, Kodiak Island

by | Jan 11, 2019

Akhiok is an Alutiiq village located on Akhiok Bay, on the western shore of Alitak Bay, at the southern end of Kodiak Island, Alaska. It lies 80 miles (130 km) by air southwest of the city of Kodiak, and 340 miles (550 km) southwest of Anchorage.

The original village of Kashukugniut was located across Alitak Bay at Humpy Cove. The community was occupied by Russians in the early 19th century as a sea otter hunting settlement. In 1881, residents relocated to the present site. The relocation was, in part, based on the switch to a fishing economy. Today, most families depend on subsistence fishing for salmon and halibut and working at the Alitak Cannery on Lazy Bay. The community has a Russian Orthodox church called Protection of the Theotokos Chapel that was built around 1900 at the site of an earlier structure. Residents of nearby Kaguyak relocated to Akhiok after the 1964 earthquake and tsunami destroyed their village.

Erosion in Akhiok has been a problem since the 1960s. Erosion reached serious proportions in 1983 when floodwater levels covered the road and eroded house foundations. Severe storms are common from December through February and east-facing shorelines are most vulnerable from storms centered in the Gulf of Alaska that can achieve sustained winds of 50 to 85 mph (80-136 kph). Approximately 350 to 500 feet (107-152 m) of beach next to the community is eroding. A November 2007 storm combined with high tides destroyed 100 feet (30 m) of the 350 feet (107 m) long log retaining wall protecting the uplands above the beach. Read more here and here. Explore more of Akhiok here:

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