The City of Whittier is at the head of Passage Canal, a fjord of Western Prince William Sound. Whittier is approximately 47 air miles (62 miles by road) southeast of Anchorage. The nearest major communities to Whittier are Anchorage, Cordova (110 miles to the east), Valdez (97 miles to the northeast), and Seward (125 miles to the southwest). Whittier is a year round ice-free port and is a focal point for marine activity and freight transfer from sea train barge serving Southcentral Alaska. The Whittier townsite lies on a fan-shaped delta on the south shore of Passage Canal. The delta, approximately a mile square, is bordered by Whittier Creek on the west and by a mountain ridge on the east. At the west end of Passage Canal is a delta, commonly known as “West Camp» or the “Head of the Bay,» about one and one-half square miles in area. This delta is formed by creeks flowing from Portage Pass, Shakespeare Glacier and Learnard Glacier. These two deltas comprise the land area upon which the Whittier community infrastructure is presently located. The city limits totals 17 sections (17 square miles), and includes both deltas, most of Passage Canal, and undeveloped lands eastward to Shotgun Cove. Annexation of the Shotgun Cove area by the City on April 6, 1973 enlarged the City limits by 8 square miles. Most communities have evolved through building and land improvement projects by individuals, private businesses, or public agencies. In Whittier’s case, much of the community infrastructure is the result of various government projects, many of which were built by the U.S. Army during and in the years following World War II.