Herschel Island (Qikiqtaruk), was Yukon’s first territorial park (established in 1987). The park is located just off the northern coast of the Yukon mainland on the Beaufort Sea. The island is in an area of great scientific and ecological interest due to the Beaufort Gyre, an ocean current which carries warm, fresh water from the Mackenzie River delta along the Yukon coast. Archaeological evidence indicates that Herschel Island has been used by the Inuit and the earlier people of the Thule culture for at least 1,000 years. The community was gradually abandoned as whaling declined in the 20th century, but the Pauline Cove site, which includes 13 historic structures and other archaeological remains, has been maintained as a historic site within the park.