Open body of water in South-Central Alaska
, bounded on the West by the Kenai Penninsula
, on the North by the Chugach Mountains
, and on the East by the Wrangell Mountains
. Prince William Sound is heavily glaciated
and contains many small islands
as well, in addition to a complex network of fjords
left behind by receding glacier
Though sparsely inhabited, Prince William Sound contains a number of small towns: Seward and Whittier on the western coast of the sound, and Valdez, Tatitlek, and Cordova on the western edge. Prince William Sound is also the site of two national parks: Kenai Fjords National Park on the eastern shore, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park at the opposite end.
Virtually all of the sound's terrain is either glaciated or was carved out by glaciers. As a result, steep, rugged mountains rise directly from the shores of most of Prince William Sound's coast. These mountains, most of them part of the Chugach Range, are utilised heavily for commercial heli-skiing, and are today considered to be have some of the world's best heli-skiing terrain. Prince William Sound is also the site of several of Alaska's larger glaciers, most notably the Columbia Glacier. These glaciers as well as the sound's fjords and terrain in general attract thousands of visitors each year.
Biologically, Prince William Sound is diverse, being inhabited by many species of sea birds and marine mammals. The sound is also abundant with fish, and the salmon and halibut fisheries form a large chunk of its economy. However, Prince William Sound's biological habitat was severely damaged by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, from which it is still in the process of recovery.