Glacier Bay National Park
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Glacier Bay National Park

December 7, 2003
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve lies on the Pacific Coast of Alaska south of the St. Elias mountain range. The first recorded charting of the area was done in 1794 by George Vancouver, in which he showed the bay being a small indentation in the Icy Strait with a gigantic glacier stretching off to the horizon. Yet by 1879 when the same area was visited by naturalist John Muir, the ice had retreated more than 50 km (30 miles) inland. By 1916, the retreat had doubled this distance. Thus, the bay area is a natural study ground for recolonization of freshly revealed land. The bay was set aside as a National Monument in 1925 and became its current National Park and Preserve in 1980, when approximately 85 percent of the park was designated a Wilderness Area. It has since been recognized as a UN Biosphere Reserve, in 1986, and a World Heritage Site, in 1992. The image above is a visualization created by merging imagery from the Landsat 7 satellite’s Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus

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