Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta

Coordinates: 61°N 164°W / 61°N 164°W / 61; -164
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta on the west coast of Alaska
Aerial view of Kuskokwim Delta wetlands

The Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta is a river delta located where the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers empty into the Bering Sea on the west coast of the U.S. state of Alaska. At approximately 129,500 square kilometers (50,000 sq mi) in size,[1] it is one of the largest deltas in the world.[2][3] It is larger than the Mississippi River Delta (which varies between 32,400 and 122,000 square kilometers or 12,500 and 47,100 sq mi);[1] it is comparable in size to the entire U.S. state of Louisiana (135,700 square kilometers or 52,400 sq mi).[4] The delta, which consists mainly 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: Yupik and Athabaskan people. The main population center and service hub is the city of Bethel, with an estimated population of around 6,219 (as of 2011).[5] Bethel is surrounded by 49 smaller villages, with the largest villages consisting of over 1000 people. Most residents live a traditional subsistence lifestyle of hunting, fishing, and gathering. More than 30 percent have cash incomes well below the federal poverty threshold.

The area has virtually no roads; travel is by bush plane, or riverboats in summer and snowmachines in winter.

Bethel is the location of the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center.[6]


  1. ^ a b Lyman K. Thorsteinson; Paul R. Becker; David A. Hale (1989). The Yukon Delta: a synthesis of information. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  2. ^ International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (1993). Wetlands in danger. Mitchell Beazley (in association with IUCN-The World Conservation Union). p. 62. ISBN 978-1-85732-166-1.
  3. ^ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Region 7 (1987). Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge: comprehensive conservation plan, environmental impact statement, wilderness review, and wild river plan : draft. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. p. xi.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "United States Summary: 2010, Population and Housing Unit Counts, 2010 Census of Population and Housing" (PDF) (PDF). United States Census Bureau. September 2012. pp. V–2, 1 & 41 (Tables 1 & 18). Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  5. ^ "Bethel (city), Alaska". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 31, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ "Alaska Dept of Corrections". state.ak.us.

External links[edit]

61°N 164°W / 61°N 164°W / 61; -164