National Wildlife Refuge System

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Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) - Tuxedni Wilderness


About Tuxedni National Wildlife Refuge


Tuxedni National Wildlife Refuge
Tuxedni National Wildlife Refuge

Two islands at the mouth of Tuxedni Bay (Chisik and Duck) were established as a refuge for seabirds, bald eagles and peregrine falcons in 1909, as shown in green in the map to the right. In 1970 these islands were designated as Wilderness and in 1980 became part part of the Alaska Maritime NWR. Other species protected in this Wilderness Area include large colonies of sea birds, black-legged kittiwakes, horned puffins, common murres, pigeon guillemots, and glaucous-winged gulls. Other species include several endangered or threatened species such as short tailed albatross, Eskimo curlew, leatherback sea turtle, Steller western and eastern pop. Sea-lion, bowhead whale, humpback whale, spectacled eider, Steller’s AK breeding populations, lynx, and otter.


Refuge area and Class I Designation

  • In 1970, Congress designated Tuxedni as a wilderness area, declaring that the area should remain undeveloped and "unimpaired" for future generations. It now has a total of 5,566 acres.
  • In 1977, Congress acknowledged the uniqueness of Tuxedni Wilderness by designating it as a Class I air quality area. As a wilderness area it is afforded special protection under the Clean Air Act.
  • Congress gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), as the Federal Land Manager of Tuxedni Wilderness, the responsibility to protect the air quality and air quality related values (AQRVs) of the area from man-made air pollution. Despite this protection, many sources of man-made air pollution have the potential to affect Tuxedni Wilderness including oil and gas development in Alaska (especially in the Cook Inlet), and long-range transport of air pollutants from other sources, like sources in Asia.
  • The FWS is working cooperatively with the State of Alaska to reduce air pollutant emissions and protect the air quality and AQRVs of Tuxedni.
  • If the Tuxedni Wilderness is not protected, unique wildlife and scenic values could be threatened or lost. The FWS hopes to preserve and protect this special area of wilderness for future generations.


Learn more about air quality at Tuxedni


Little is known about the effects of air pollution on air quality and AQRVs in Tuxedni. Pollutant haze may obscure visibility at the wilderness area part of the time. The FWS has begun a program to better understand air pollution causes and effects at Tuxedni, in partnership with the national Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) program. As part of this program, FWS operates a fine particle sampler that measures the pollutants in the air responsible for visibility impairment at Tuxedni. Within this site are the resources to discover why air pollution poses a threat to Tuxedni Wilderness and what the FWS is doing to prevent the deterioration of air quality in this pristine area.

  • Learn the basics of air quality - Air Quality
  • Understand what are the air quality related values - AQRV
  • Learn about how air quality can affect natural and scenic resources - Impacts
  • Find real time monitoring data and studies being performed at the wilderness area - Studies & Monitoring



Addition Information:
Regional Air Quality Information (as provided by NPS)
Alaska Maritime NWR Website
Tuxedni WA 300km Radius Map (PDF 664KB)

Last updated: November 13, 2012