National Wildlife Refuge
|95 Sterling Highway, Suite 1
Homer, AK 99603 - 8021
Phone Number: 907-235-6546
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|The refuge's research vessel, the M/V Tiglax, with Mount Cleveland in the background. Mount Cleveland is located on Chuginadak in the Aleutian Islands.|
Educational programs for K-12 and adult audiences are available at the refuge's Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center in Homer. Click on the learn more link below to learn more about current offerings at the Visitor Center. School programs for other communities on the refuge are also available at times. Please contact the refuge for more information. In addition, the refuge partners with local communities and schools to offer summer stewardship camps to local children at villages in the Aleutians and the Pribilofs.
As is the case with hunting, angling opportunites--for both subsistance and sport fishers--are available across the refuge, and some of the fishing is every bit as spectacular as it is difficult to access. Charters out of Homer, Seward, Sitka, Kodiak and Unalaska fish the salt waters off refuge lands. Unalaska, for example, is considered by many to offer the best chance anywhere to hook into a "barn door" trophy halibut.
Both subsistence and sport hunting are available on Alaska Maritime lands and the adjoining waters, though the remoteness of much of the refuge make access a challenge. Some commercial guides and outfitters do take clients onto the refuge. The refuge headquarters has a list of commercial operators that are permitted to guide on the refuge.
One of the most interesting ways to experience the refuge, if you have the time, is by traveling on the Alaska ferries from Homer to Kodiak or Unalaska during the summer. Refuge naturalists accompany the boats, presenting wildlife programs and helping passengers identify the birds and mammals seen along the way.
Alaska Maritime (and particularly its Aleutian lands) has become a coveted vacation destination for serious birders, because even the most jaded of enthusiasts is likely to be able to add a species to his or her "life list" here. Though much of Alaska Maritime is extremely remote, some of its bird colonies are regularly visited by commercial sightseeing boats operating out of Seward, Sitka and Homer. Charters can also be arranged out of other coastal communities located near refuge lands, including Kodiak, Nome, Unalaska, St. Paul and Sand Point. Summer, when birds are nesting and sea lions and seals are pupping on the beaches, is the best time to visit; though cool temperatures, high winds and precipitation can be expected on most refuge lands even then.
Given the fact that it's spread out along most of the 47,300 miles of Alaska's coastline, it's no surprise that Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is rich in stunning landscapes. Wildlife photography, including opportunities to capture images of both birds and marime mammals as mentioned above, is best in summer, and the same charters that offer wildlife observation can also guide photographers to once-in-a-lifetime shots.
For more information on Leave No Trace, visit the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Web site. (http://www.lnt.org)
The visitor center, on the Sterling Highway as you enter Homer, is open 9am-5pm Memorial Day through Labor Day and 12pm-5pm Tuesday through Saturday in the winter.
There are no visitor's fees charged anywhere on the refuge.
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