Tracy Arm, Snettisham Peninsula

Tracy Arm in Southeast Alaska was once filled with the Sawyer Glacier which has now receded about 48 km (30 miles). During the summer, the fjord still has considerable floating ice ranging from small chunks of 1-10 cm to pieces as large as a three-story building. The largest pieces strand on an underwater moraine perpendicular and adjacent to this shore and gradually disintegrate into smaller pieces that drift and strand on the mainland. Glacial gravel forms much of the shoreline substrate and the larger particles on the upper beach form stable anchors for the attachment of rockweed that can tolerate low salinities of the glacial fjord and cold air temperatures. A fringing salt marsh of sedges lines the shore and a successional community of terrestrial grasses, alder, and spruce has colonized the uplands creating a mosaic of colors. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Tracy Arm.