Ewan Bay, Prince William Sound

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Ewan Bay, Prince William Sound

by | Dec 26, 2020

Ewan Bay is on the east coast of the Kenai Peninsula and extends northwest for 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from Dangerous Passage, about 84 miles (135 km) west of Cordova and 33 miles (53 km) southeast of Whittier, Alaska. The local name was reported in 1908 by Grant and Higgins of the U.S. Geological Survey. Dangerous Passage is a channel between Chenega Island and the Kenai Peninsula that was named in 1898 by  Captain W.F. Abercrombie of the U.S. Army.

Tidal waterfalls called “skookumchuks” in the Chinook Jargon of the Pacific Northwest separates the head of Ewan Bay from a salt lagoon. Chinook Jargon is a nearly extinct American indigenous language originating as a pidgin trade language in the Pacific Northwest, and spreading during the 19th century from the lower Columbia River, first to other areas in modern Oregon and Washington, then British Columbia and parts of Alaska. It is partly descended from the Chinook language, upon which much of its vocabulary is based. Many words from Chinook Jargon remain in common use in the Western United States and British Columbia today.

The nearshore habitat of Ewan Bay is dominated by kelp in the outer bay and eelgrass in the inner bay. Many rocks and shoals extend from both east and west shores of the bay. The entrance to the lagoon at the head of the bay is obstructed by rocks and generally not navigable. Nearshore habitats in the bay support a diverse and dynamic fish assemblage characterized by resident species and the seasonal recruitment of juvenile fishes. Many species are important commercially or as forage fish in the diet of higher-level predators. The nearshore fish assemblage has changed over the last 20 years and may see continued change with a warming climate and the predicted northward species redistribution. Read more here and here. Explore more of Ewan Bay here:

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