Gulf Coast Region
The Gulf Coast Region, which consists of Kodiak Island, the Kenai Peninsula, and Prince William Sound, is an economically diverse region with abundant natural beauty and deep ties to fisheries and the visitor industry. Alutiiq and Dena’ina Athabascan are the original inhabitants of this region. Sister communities Kenai and Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula host droves of fishermen from across the globe looking to land a once-in-a-lifetime sockeye salmon, or looking to participate in the dipnet fishery.
Kodiak, perched on the edge of Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska, was once the capital of Russian Alaska and is now a commercial fishing center. Meanwhile, former gold rush town Valdez is now the center of the oil boom. It is home to the terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, which transports crude from the oil fields of the North Slope down the length of the state.
The Kenai Peninsula is on the road system and connected by the Alaska Railroad and The Alaska Marine Highway System. Communities in Prince William Sound are serviced by several substantial cargo ports, ferry terminals, a limited road system, and airports that are used year-round. The largest employment sectors are health and social assistance, retail trade, and food manufacturing.
Population Estimate: 81,058
Average Annual Wage: $41,499
Average Unemployment Rate: 7.9%
Total Employment: 33,125
Local Businesses: 2,831
K-12 Schools: 86
Average summer high: 62 to 65 degrees
Average winter high: 25 to 29 degrees
Hours of light in June: 18
Hours of light in December: 6