Cascade Bay, Prince William Sound

Cascade Bay, Prince William Sound

by | Sep 4, 2019

Cascade Bay is an estuary that extends southeast for 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to Eaglek Bay in Prince William Sound, about 32 miles (51.5 km) northeast of Whittier, Alaska. The local name was first reported in 1952 by the U.S. Geological Survey. The Cascade Bay waterfall is the largest in Prince William Sound and descends to tidewater from a series of three lakes fed by streams flowing from Eaglek Glacier.

Eaglek Glacier is about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) across and caps the ridge above Cascade Bay. Like all the cirque glaciers in northern Prince William Sound, Eaglek Glacier has been retreating steadily as warmer winter temperatures have raised the snowline, thus reducing the snow accumulation area. Lighter colored rock around the glacier now shows areas of recent retreat.

In 1994, an expansion of the Main Bay Hatchery in Prince William Sound was proposed and new sites were considered for sockeye salmon enhancement. The Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation had obtained a state permit for Cascade Falls in Eaglek Bay, a site located in the Chugach National Forest on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service. However, field tests found that the water temperature in the Cascade Lakes is too cold to support sockeye salmon incubation and rearing because the water source is a glacier, and the development of the site was abandoned. Read more here and here. Explore more of Cascade Bay here:

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About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2021 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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