This important waterfowl area includes coastal waters 15-20 km wide adjacent to the Yukon Delta, from Pastol Bay in the north to the Kwikluak Pass in the south. This is a building (prograding) portion of the Yukon-Kuskokwim complex. High input of sand and mud from the Yukon River creates an extensive nearshore area of shallow waters (most of it is 5-10 m deep). Fresh water input from the Yukon River lowers salinity of coastal waters and provides favorable conditions for development of fresh water aquatic vegetation. This in its turn creates attractive habitat for surface feeding waterfowl.

Ornithological Summary

The high numbers (>10,000) of waterfowl staging and foraging within this area qualify this site as an IBA.

Until more recent data become available, however, this site is PENDING GLOBAL/CONTINENTAL review.

Conservation Issues

Potential for pollution associated with transportation and off-loading of petroleum products into coastal communities, oil development in the area, and increased consumptive use through hunting due to population growth.

Habitat

4 fathoms deep or less, most of the area is less than 1 fathom.

Inshore waters

Coastal intertidal habitats with fresh water aquatic vegetation.

Coastal unvegetatetd mud/sand flats.

Land Use

urban/industrial/transport; hunting; fishing.

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