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Prince William Sound, on the south coast of Alaska.
Prince William Sound is a sound of the Gulf of Alaskamarker on the south coast of the U.S. state of Alaskamarker. It is located on the east side of the Kenai Peninsulamarker. Its largest port is Valdezmarker, at the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Systemmarker. Other settlements on the sound, which contains numerous small islands, include Cordovamarker and Whittiermarker plus the Alaska native villages of Chenega and Tatitlek.

Most of the land surrounding Prince William Sound is part of the Chugach National Forestmarker, the second largest national forest in the U.S. Prince William Sound is ringed by the steep and glaciated Chugach Mountains. The coastline is convoluted, with many islands and fjords, several of which contain tidewater glaciers. The principle barrier islands forming the sound are Montague Islandmarker, Hinchinbrook Islandmarker, and Hawkins Island.

James Cook entered Prince William Sound in 1778 and named it Sandwich Sound, after his patron the Earl of Sandwich. The editors of Cook's maps changed the name to Prince William Sound, in honor of Prince William, who would later become King William IV.

A 1964 tsunami, a result of the Good Friday Earthquake, killed a number of Chugach villagers in the coastal village of Chenegamarker, as well as destroying the town of Valdezmarker.

In 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reefmarker after leaving Valdez, causing a large oil spillmarker, which resulted in massive damage to the environment, including the killing of around 250,000 seabirds, nearly 3,000 sea otters, 300 harbour seals, 250 bald eagles and up to 22 killer whales.

Gallery

image:PrinceWilliamSound Alaska BA.jpg|Cove in southwestern Prince William SoundImage:Chugach1.jpg|Overlooking Prince William SoundImage:Chugach2.jpg|Alpine trees on Prince William SoundImage:Shoup Glacier.jpg|Prince William Sound, looking toward Shoup Glacier

References

  1. Explorations: Bering and Cook, Alaska.net



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