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Alaska has an extensive coastline, longer than that of all the other US states combined. Some estimate it to be more than 49,000 miles lone, and most of it is remote and uninhabited. Now thanks to the ShoreZone project, some 38,000 miles of the Alaskan coastline has been photographed and can be viewed in sharp detail.

The project was developed in 1989 in order to access damage caused by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Since then it has been used to gather habitat information of plants, animals and fishes, review applications for industrial permits, assess the risks posed by eroding shorelines and rising sea levels, and monitor the spread of invasive species and marine debris. These images along with useful data were long available to the public, but it’s the first time they are available on an interactive website, not unlike Google Earth.


Tracy Arm, Snettisham Peninsula, Southeast Alaska August 04, 2008. A fringing salt marsh of sedges lines the shore of this fjord, and behind that a successional community of terrestrial grasses, alder bushes, and spruce trees.

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