Nanwalek (‘place by lagoon’), formerly Alexandrovsk (Russian: Александровск) and later English Bay, is a census-designated place (CDP) in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States, that contains a traditional Alutiiq village. The population was 254 at the 2010 census, up from 177 in 2000. There is one school located in the community, attended by 76 students.
Nanwalek and Port Graham are located near the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula and are separated by less than 5 miles (8 km). Both villages are accessible only by air or water (they lie 23 miles (37 km) southwest of Homer). The Alaska Marine Highway System provides service to nearby Seldovia (located only 10 miles (16 km) up the coast line). A state-owned 1,850-by-50-foot (564 by 15 m) gravel airstrip sits atop a natural spit which divides the small lagoon from the southern mouth of Cook Inlet. Looking northwest across Cook Inlet, one can see Mount Iliamna 60 miles (97 km) away and further to the north Mount Redoubt, 80 miles (130 km) away. Although they are in the vicinity of the village, they do not cause trouble to the villagers, since Iliamna is erupting continuously, emitting only smoke, and Redoubt is so far in the north that the ashes from its eruptions bother mostly Kenai and Anchorage. It is Augustine (the most active volcano of the eastern Aleutian arc), 50 miles (80 km) due west across Cook Inlet, which makes life nasty in Nanwalek, Port Graham, Seldovia and Homer when it erupts, as it most recently has done in 1986 and 2006.
Nanwalek is located at 59°21′13″N 151°54′45″W / 59.353483°N 151.912482°W / 59.353483; -151.912482.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.4 square miles (21.8 km), of which 0.02 square miles (0.04 km), or 0.16%, are water.
Many of the current residents are of mixed Russian and Sugpiaq (Alutiiq) heritage. Villagers speak Sugt’stun, an Eskimo language closely related to Yup’ik.
Nanwalek first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as the unincorporated village of Alexandrovsk. It had 75 Sugpiaq residents, 12 Creole (Mixed Russian & Sugpiaq) and 1 White. It reported as English Bay in 1890, with 107 residents (100 Sugpiaq, 6 Creole, 1 White). It did not report again until 1930, when it returned 107 residents, the same as 40 years earlier. It continued to report in every successive census. In 1980, English Bay was made a census-designated place (CDP). In 1991, the name was officially changed to the present Nanwalek.
As of the census of 2000, there were 177 people, 45 households, and 32 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 20.8 people per square mile (8.0/km²). There were 54 housing units at an average density of 6.3/sq mi (2.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 6.78% White, 89.27% Native American, and 3.95% from two or more races. 1.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 45 households out of which 55.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 22.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.93 and the average family size was 4.79.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 42.9% under the age of 18, 14.1% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 10.7% from 45 to 64, and 0.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females, there were 113.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 114.9 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $42,500, and the median income for a family was $45,750. Males had a median income of $33,750 versus $32,813 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $10,577. About 14.7% of families and 17.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.6% of those under the age of 18 and none of those 65 or over.
Nanwalek Alaska neighborhoods include: Anchorage, Anchor Point, Chiniak, Chugiak, Clam Gulch, Cooper Landing, Delta Junction, Douglas, Eagle River, Eielson Afb, Elmendorf Afb, Fairbanks, Fort Richardson, Girdwood, Haines, Homer, Indian, Juneau, Kasilof, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Metlakatla, Moose Pass, Nikolaevsk, Ninilchik, North Pole, Salcha, Seward, Sitka, Soldotna, Sterling, Tyonek, Wasilla