Forbidding cliffs, ancient forests, and the occasional historic lighthouse overlook the wild seascape of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, which extends from the Canadian border 135 miles (217 kilometers) south to Washington States Copalis River, and from the rugged coastline to approximately 35 miles (56 kilometers) offshore. More species of whale, dolphin, and porpoise frequent these cold, fish-laden waters than anywhere else on Earth. Nearly 900 offshore rocks, reefs, and islands dot the sanctuary, providing resting and nesting places to bald eagles, peregrine falcons, tufted puffins, and many other species of bird.
For centuries the ancestors of todays Makah, Quileute, Hoh, and Quinault tribal members harvested whales, seals, mussels, salmon, and halibut from these fertile waters. Among the tribal remains are rock carvings of the local marine life. Other, more chilling, relics of the past are the many shipwrecks within the sanctuary, a testament to the punishing storms and often-treacherous seas that sweep this remote region.
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