Nanwalek, Alaska

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Nanwalek (nan-WAH-leck), formerly English Bay, is census-designated place (CDP) in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States that contains a traditional Alutiiq village. The population was 177 at the 2000 census. There is one school located in the community, attended by 76 students.

Subsistence activities are a large part of the culture for indigenous people and Nanwalek is no exception, especially when it comes to salmon and seal harvesting. The sale of alcohol is banned in the village, although importing and possession are allowed. To travel to Nanwalek, permission must be obtained from the Village Council.



Nanwalek and Port Graham are located near the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula and are separated by less than five miles (8 km). Both villages are accessible only by air or water (they lie 35 miles (56 km) southwest of Homer). The Alaska Marine Highway System provides service to nearby Seldovia (located only 10 miles (16 km) up the coast line). A state-owned 1,850-foot (560 m) by 50-foot (15 m) gravel airstrip sits atop a natural spit which divides the small lagoon from the southern mouth of Cook Inlet. Looking West, on can see Mt. Iliamna and further to the north Mt. Redoubt. Although they are in the vicinity of the village, they do not cause trouble to the villagers, since Iliamna is erupting continuously, emitting only smoke, and Redoubt is so far in the north that the ashes from its eruptions bother mostly Kenai and Anchorage. It is Augustine (the most active volcano of the eastern Aleutian arc), which makes life nasty in Nanwalek, Port Graham, Seldovia and Homer, when it erupts, as it most recently has done in 1986 and 2006.[1][2]

Nanwalek is located at 59°21′13″N 151°54′45″W / 59.353483°N 151.912482°W / 59.353483; -151.912482.[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.5 square miles (22.0 km²), all of it land.

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