Tongass Passage

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Tongass Passage is a strait on the Canada–United States border between Alaska and British Columbia, located on the southwest side of Wales Island. Wales Island, and Pearse Island, to its northeast, were claimed by the United States prior to the settlement of the Alaska boundary dispute in 1903. Prior to that time, numerous American-owned canneries lined its shores. Canadian claims to the islands were affirmed in the Alaska Boundary Settlement of 1903, in which Tongass Passage, Pearse Canal and the Portland Canal were defined as comprising "Portland Channel", [1] a term first used in the Anglo-Russian Treaty of 1825 as part of the marine boundary between Russian America and British claims in the region, but which remained undefined until the boundary settlement.

Strait A naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water

A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some straits are not navigable, for example because they are too shallow, or because of an unnavigable reef or archipelago.

Canada–United States border international border between Canada and the USA

The Canada–United States border, officially known as the International Boundary, is the longest international border in the world between two countries. It is shared between Canada and the United States, the second- and fourth/third largest countries by area, respectively. The terrestrial boundary is 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi) long, of which 2,475 kilometres (1,538 mi) is Canada's border with Alaska. Eight Canadian provinces and territories, and thirteen U.S. states are located along the border.

Alaska State of the United States of America

Alaska is a U.S. state in the northwest extremity of North America, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the state to the east, its most extreme western part is Attu Island, and it has a maritime border with Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—southern parts of the Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest. It is the largest U.S. state by area and the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the 3rd least populous and the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States; nevertheless, it is by far the most populous territory located mostly north of the 60th parallel in North America: its population—estimated at 738,432 by the United States Census Bureau in 2015— is more than quadruple the combined populations of Northern Canada and Greenland. Approximately half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, and oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. Military bases and tourism are also a significant part of the economy.

See also

Dixon Entrance strait

The Dixon Entrance is a strait about 80 kilometres (50 mi) long and wide in the Pacific Ocean at the Canada–United States border, between the U.S. state of Alaska and the province of British Columbia in Canada. It was named by Joseph Banks for Captain George Dixon, a Royal Navy officer, fur trader, and explorer, who surveyed the area in 1787. The Dixon Entrance is part of the Inside Passage shipping route. It forms part of the maritime boundary between the U.S. and Canada, although the location of that boundary here is disputed. A name used in the Haida language is Seegaay, which means only "ocean".

Portland Inlet is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean on the coast of British Columbia, Canada, approximately 55 kilometers north of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. It joins the Chatham Sound opposite the Dixon Entrance. It is 40 kilometers long and as much as 13 kilometers wide. It drains the Portland Canal, Nass Bay, and Khutzeymateen Inlet, among others, and is the site of Pearse Island and Somerville Island. Other major sidewaters of the inlet are Observatory Inlet and its east arm, Alice Arm.

Fort Tongass

Fort Tongass was a United States Army base on Tongass Island, in the southernmost Alaska Panhandle, located adjacent to the village of the group of Tlingit people on the east side of the island. Fort Tongass was the first US Army base established in Alaska following its purchase from the Russian Empire in 1867 and was garrisoned by the 2nd U.S. Artillery under the command of Captain Charles H. Peirce. Historian Hubert Howe Bancroft notes: "the site was well chosen, containing a plentiful supply of timber and pasture, while fish and game abound in the neighbourhood.

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Southeast Alaska

Southeast Alaska, sometimes referred to as the Alaska Panhandle, is the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Alaska, bordered to the east by the northern half of the Canadian province of British Columbia. The majority of Southeast Alaska's area is part of the Tongass National Forest, the United States' largest national forest. In many places, the international border runs along the crest of the Boundary Ranges of the Coast Mountains. The region is noted for its scenery and mild rainy climate.

Hyder, Alaska CDP in Alaska, United States

Hyder is a census-designated place (CDP) in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 87 at the 2010 census, down from 97 in 2000. Hyder is accessible by road from British Columbia, and is popular with motorists wishing to visit Alaska without driving the length of the Alaska Highway. It is the southernmost community in the state that can be reached via car. Hyder is Alaska's easternmost town. There are no American border controls at the Hyder - Stewart Border Crossing.

Alaska boundary dispute

The Alaska boundary dispute was a territorial dispute between the United States and the United Kingdom, which then controlled Canada's foreign relations. It was resolved by arbitration in 1903. The dispute existed between the Russian Empire and Britain since 1821, and was inherited by the United States as a consequence of the Alaska Purchase in 1867. The final resolution favored the American position, and Canada did not get an all-Canadian outlet from the Yukon gold fields to the sea. The disappointment and anger in Canada was directed less at the United States, and more at the British government for betraying Canadian interests in favour of healthier Anglo-American relations.

Stikine River

The Stikine River is a river, historically also the Stickeen River, approximately 610 km (379 mi) long, in northwestern British Columbia in Canada and in southeast Alaska in the United States.

Pearse Island is an island in western British Columbia, Canada, in the Portland Inlet, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. The island was first charted in 1793 by George Vancouver during his 1791-95 expedition. It was named by George Henry Richards, captain of HMS Plumper, circa 1860, in honour of William Alfred Rombulow Pearse of the Royal Navy, who had been commander of HMS Alert.

The Portland Canal is an arm of Portland Inlet, one of the principal inlets of the British Columbia Coast. It is approximately 114 kilometres (71 mi) long. The Portland Canal forms part of the border between southeastern Alaska and British Columbia. The name of the entire inlet in the Nisga'a language is K'alii Xk'alaan, with /xk/alaan/ meaning "at the back of (someplace)". The upper end of the inlet was home to the Tsetsaut, who after being decimated by war and disease were taken under the protection of the Laxsgiik (Eagle) chief of the Nisga'a, who holds the inlet's title in native law.

Stewart, British Columbia District municipality in British Columbia, Canada

Stewart is a district municipality at the head of the Portland Canal in northwestern British Columbia, Canada on the Canada–US border. In 2011, its population was about 494.

Salmon River (Portland Canal) braided stream that flows through Hyder, Alaska, and empties into the Portland Canal

The Salmon River is a braided stream that flows through Hyder, Alaska, and empties into the Portland Canal. It is fed by meltwater from the Salmon Glacier, which is located within British Columbia approximately 13 miles north of its confluence into the Canal and is road-accessible from the town of Stewart, British Columbia. The river crosses the Canada–United States border at 56°02′00″N130°02′00″W.

Dall Island island in the United States of America

Dall Island is an island in the Alexander Archipelago off the southeast coast of Alaska, just west of Prince of Wales Island and north of Canadian waters. Its peak elevation is 2,443 feet above sea level. Its land area is 254.0 square miles (657.9 km2), making it the 28th largest island in the United States. Dall is used economically for fishing and limestone quarrying.

Stikine Icecap glacier in Canada

The Stikine Icecap is a large icefield straddled on the Alaska–British Columbia boundary in the Alaska Panhandle region. It lies in the Boundary Ranges of the Coast Mountains. Within the United States, most of it is under the administration of the Tongass National Forest and is part of the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness within the national forest.

Porcher Island island in Canada

Porcher Island is an island in Hecate Strait, British Columbia, Canada, near the mouth of the Skeena River and southwest of the port city of Prince Rupert. The locality of Porcher Island is located near the island's northern tip at Humpback Bay, 54°05′11″N130°23′23″W. Stephens and Prescott Islands are located off its northwestern tip.

Wales Island (British Columbia)

Wales Island is an island on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada, situated east of the Dixon Entrance at the entrance to Portland Inlet.

Fitz Hugh Sound

Fitz Hugh Sound, sometimes spelled Fitzhugh Sound, is a sound on the British Columbia Coast of Canada, located between Calvert Island and the mainland. Fitz Hugh Sound is part of a group of named bodies of water around the opening of Dean Channel, one of the coast's main fjords, where it intersects the infra-insular waterway known as the Inside Passage. Queen Charlotte Sound lies to its west, beyond which is the open ocean. Fitz Hugh Sound is the southern limit of the large group of offshore islands known as the North Coast Archipelago, which extends to the Dixon Entrance and the opening of the Portland Canal at the boundary of Alaska.

Chatham Sound

Chatham Sound is a sound on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada, bordering on Alaska, United States. It is located between Dundas and Stephens Islands and the Tsimpsean Peninsula near Prince Rupert. It is part of the Inside Passage and extends from Portland Inlet in the north to Porcher Island in the south.

Tongass Island, historically also spelled Tongas Island, is an island in the southern Alaska Panhandle, near the marine boundary with Canada at 54-40 N. It was the site of Fort Tongass, which was established shortly after the Alaska Purchase as a customs port for travelers bound from British Columbian waters to the Stikine River, which was one of the main routes of access to the Cassiar Gold Rush of the 1870s. It lies west of Port Tongass in Nakat Bay, adjacent to the Dixon Entrance and is 0.8 miles in length. Its Native Alaskan name "Kut-tuk-wah" was published in 1869 by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey; its current name was first published in 1891.

Pearse Canal is a channel or strait forming part of the Canada–United States border at the southern end of the Alaska Panhandle and adjacent to the mouth of Portland Inlet. It is on the northwest side of Wales and Pearse Islands, which are in British Columbia, Canada, and forms part of the southwestern edge of Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska, United States. The southwest entrance to the strait is between Phipp Point and Maie Point, both in Alaska.

The extreme points of British Columbia are four in number:


The BC Geographical Names is a geographic name web service and database for British Columbia, Canada, which is run and maintained by the Base Mapping and Geomatic Services Branch of the Integrated Land Management Bureau. The database contains official names and spellings of towns, mountains, rivers, lakes, and other geographic places. The database often has other useful information, such as the history of geographic names, and their use in history.

Coordinates: 54°44′39″N130°38′10″W / 54.74417°N 130.63611°W / 54.74417; -130.63611

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.