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SELAWIK: A Bird's Eye View of the Arctic Coast
Alaska Region, March 27, 2014
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This sandy point near the mouth of Selawik River is called Singiagruk. It's an important humpback whitefish spawning area and traditional subsistence site. The rows of shrubs indicate old beach ridges, each likely formed by a single storm event.
This sandy point near the mouth of Selawik River is called Singiagruk. It's an important humpback whitefish spawning area and traditional subsistence site. The rows of shrubs indicate old beach ridges, each likely formed by a single storm event. - Photo Credit: Alaska ShoreZone
Attiniq, pictured here, is one of the many channels on the Kobuk River delta, providing ideal habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife. Both of these photos are examples of the beautiful coastal imagery available through ShoreZone.
Attiniq, pictured here, is one of the many channels on the Kobuk River delta, providing ideal habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife. Both of these photos are examples of the beautiful coastal imagery available through ShoreZone. - Photo Credit: Alaska ShoreZone

Selawik Refuge staff recently attended tribal council meetings in the Iñupiaq villages of Noorvik and Buckland to familiarize council and community members with an eye-popping project called Alaska ShoreZone. Funded by more than 20 partners, including Alaska’s Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, ShoreZone makes it possible to “fly” along Alaska’s northern coasts without every leaving your house.

 

In summer 2012, the ShoreZone team flew northwest Alaska’s entire coastline from a helicopter at low tide, taking aerial photographs every second along with continuous video. These images are available to all for free online viewing at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/mapping/szflex/.

Because online viewing of these images is difficult with the slow internet speed in rural Alaska, Selawik Refuge worked with the ShoreZone team to produce CDs with photos of nearby coastal areas for communities on or adjacent to the refuge (Noorvik, Selawik, and Buckland). Refuge staff then combed through hundreds of these photos to select the best ones for sharing with the tribal councils as examples of what ShoreZone offers.

Selawik Refuge staff appreciated the warm welcome they received in the villages. With beautiful spring weather, staff traveled by snowmobile to the village meetings, getting a chance to explore the refuge on the ground while delivering an important message to our local audience.


Contact Info: Susan Georgette, 907-442-3799 ext 16, susan_georgette@fws.gov



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