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Kasitsna Bay is formed by MacDonald Spit that connects the mainland to Nubble Point on the Kenai Peninsula, about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) northeast of Seldovia, Alaska. The name is from the Dena’ina Athabascan word “k’tsits’ena” for “skull”, and was originally published in 1883 as "Kahsitsnah" by William Healey Dall of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.
Kasitsna Bay was homesteaded by the Ekren family around 1950. The family had a fish trap and started a cannery in 1955 called the Ekren Packing Company that operated until 1975, processing clams, salmon, and Dungeness crabs. The cannery was on pilings and the whole structure sank 5 feet (1.5 m) and flooded during the March 1964 Alaska Earthquake. In 1968, a road was built connecting Jakolof Bay to Seldovia to facilitate the logging of Windy Bay and this also provided road access to Kasitsna Bay, however a boat or ferry was still necessary to reach Homer.
In 1957, the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries began studying shellfish in Kachemak Bay and a small field station was constructed in 1960 on 27 acres (11 ha) on Kasitsna Bay. Early research focused on the life history, population dynamics, and behavior of pandalid shrimp in the Gulf of Alaska. In 1978, changes in research priorities and logistical problems led to the transfer of research activities to the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Laboratory in Kodiak. For the next 3 years, the Environmental Research Laboratories used the Kasitsna Bay facility for the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program. Since 1981, the University of Alaska uses the station for research and education, although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration still owns and operates the facility. Read more here and here. Download the latest version of the CoastView app and explore more of Kasitsna Bay here: