Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta

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The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta is one of the largest river deltas in the world,[citation needed] roughly the size of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is located where the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers empty into the Bering Sea on the west coast of the U.S. state of Alaska. The delta, which mostly consists of tundra, is protected as part of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge.

The delta has approximately 25,000 residents. 85% of these are Alaska Natives, both Yupik Eskimos and Athabaskan Indians. The main population center and service hub is the city of Bethel, with an estimated population of around 6,219 (as of 2011).[1] Bethel is surrounded by 49 smaller villages, with the largest villages consisting of over 1,000 people. Most residents live a traditional subsistence lifestyle of hunting, fishing, and gathering, and over 30 percent have cash incomes well below the federal poverty threshold.

The area has virtually no roads; travel is by Bush plane, or by river boats in summer and snowmachines in winter.

In Bethel, the town is the home of the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center.[2]


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Coordinates: 61°22′0.0″N 163°43′0.0″W / 61.366667°N 163.716667°W / 61.366667; -163.716667