Kachemak Bay
Kachemak Bay is a 64-km-long (40 mi) arm of Cook Inlet
Cook Inlet
Cook Inlet stretches from the Gulf of Alaska to Anchorage in south-central Alaska. Cook Inlet branches into the Knik Arm and Turnagain Arm at its northern end, almost surrounding Anchorage....

 in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

, located on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula
Kenai Peninsula
The Kenai Peninsula is a large peninsula jutting from the southern coast of Alaska in the United States. The name Kenai is probably derived from Kenayskaya, the Russian name for Cook Inlet, which borders the peninsula to the west.-Geography:...

. The communities of Homer
Homer, Alaska
Homer is a city located in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population was 5,364. One of Homer's nicknames is "the cosmic hamlet by the sea"; another is "the end of the road"...

, Halibut Cove
Halibut Cove, Alaska
Halibut Cove is a census-designated place in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States. The population was 35 at the 2000 census.Originally a fishing village, Halibut Cove is now home to several artists and businesses. One of the only floating U.S. post offices is there, along with a floating...

, Seldovia
Seldovia, Alaska
Seldovia is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States. The population was 286 at the 2000 census. There is no road system connecting the town to other communities, so planes and boats are used for transportation....

, Nanwalek
Nanwalek, Alaska
Nanwalek , formerly English Bay, is census-designated place in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States that contains a traditional Alutiiq village. The population was 177 at the 2000 census...

, Port Graham
Port Graham, Alaska
Port Graham, also known as Paluwik in the Alutiiq language, is a census-designated place in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 171.-Geography:...

, and Kachemak City
Kachemak, Alaska
Kachemak, locally known as Kachemak City is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States. The population was 431 at the 2000 census.Kachemak means "large cliff by the water" in Yupik.-Geography:...

 are on the bay as well as three Old Believer settlements in the Fox River
Fox River, Alaska
Fox River is a census-designated place in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 616. It was first reported by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1895...

 area, Voznesenka, Kachemak Selo, and Razdolna.


Kachemak Bay is home to Alaska's only state wilderness
Wilderness or wildland is a natural environment on Earth that has not been significantly modified by human activity. It may also be defined as: "The most intact, undisturbed wild natural areas left on our planet—those last truly wild places that humans do not control and have not developed with...

 park, Kachemak Bay State Park
Kachemak Bay State Park
Kachemak Bay State Park and Kachemak Bay Wilderness Park is a park in and around Kachemak Bay, Alaska. Kachemak Bay State Park was the first legislatively designated State Park in the Alaska State Parks system. Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park is the state's only legislatively designated...

. Kachemak Bay State park was the first state park
State park
State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the federated state level within those nations which use "state" as a political subdivision. State parks are typically established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, or recreational...

 in Alaska. There is no road access to most of the park; visitors must arrive by airplane or boat.

Kachemak Bay is also home to the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, on the western coast of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, is part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System and is managed jointly by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game...

, the largest reserve
National Estuarine Research Reserve
The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a program of the United States government. The program establishes federal-state partnerships under the Coastal Zone Management Act to create a system of estuarine research reserves representative of the various regions and estuarine types in the...

 in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. It is a very active site of research and education. The bay hosts a remarkably high level of biological activity
Biological activity
In pharmacology, biological activity or pharmacological activity describes the beneficial or adverse effects of a drug on living matter. When a drug is a complex chemical mixture, this activity is exerted by the substance's active ingredient or pharmacophore but can be modified by the other...

, due in part to water circulation patterns which keep shellfish larve
A larva is a distinct juvenile form many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Animals with indirect development such as insects, amphibians, or cnidarians typically have a larval phase of their life cycle...

 and nutrients in the bay. While surface waters push nutrients out into the bay, ocean currents push them back into the bay, creating a very fertile environment. Both fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 and shellfish
Shellfish is a culinary and fisheries term for exoskeleton-bearing aquatic invertebrates used as food, including various species of molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Although most kinds of shellfish are harvested from saltwater environments, some kinds are found only in freshwater...

 are abundant in the bay, year-round. Waterfowl
Waterfowl are certain wildfowl of the order Anseriformes, especially members of the family Anatidae, which includes ducks, geese, and swans....

 and shorebirds occupy the bay during all but the winter season, while waterbirds and marine mammals including otter
The Otters are twelve species of semi-aquatic mammals which feed on fish and shellfish, and also other invertebrates, amphibians, birds and small mammals....

s, seal
Pinnipeds or fin-footed mammals are a widely distributed and diverse group of semiaquatic marine mammals comprising the families Odobenidae , Otariidae , and Phocidae .-Overview: Pinnipeds are typically sleek-bodied and barrel-shaped...

s, porpoise
Porpoises are small cetaceans of the family Phocoenidae; they are related to whales and dolphins. They are distinct from dolphins, although the word "porpoise" has been used to refer to any small dolphin, especially by sailors and fishermen...

, and whale
Whale is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale sometimes refers to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which belong to suborder Odontoceti . This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga...

s remain in the bay all year. The bay provides winter homes for 90% of the seabird
Seabirds are birds that have adapted to life within the marine environment. While seabirds vary greatly in lifestyle, behaviour and physiology, they often exhibit striking convergent evolution, as the same environmental problems and feeding niches have resulted in similar adaptations...

 and waterfowl populations of Lower Cook Inlet. Land mammals are frequently seen during the warmer seasons. Moose
The moose or Eurasian elk is the largest extant species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic configuration...

, coyote
The coyote , also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States and Canada...

, and bear
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

s are frequently seen.

The tides at Kachemak Bay are extreme, with an average vertical difference (also called mean range) of over fifteen feet (15.53ft, 4.73m), and recorded extremes of over thirty-one feet (31.72ft, 9.67m) as measured at the Seldovia Tide Station. The highest tide on record is over twenty-five feet (25.25ft, 7.7m) above MLLW and occurred on November 15th, 1966. The lowest tide on record is almost minus six and a half feet (-6.47ft, -1.97m) from MLLW and occurred on April 27th, 2002.
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