Most archaeologists agree that it was across the Bering Land Bridge that humans first passed from Asia to populate the Americas. The distance across the Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska's Seward Peninsula is approximately 55 miles, and for several periods during the Ice Ages the trip could be made entirely on land. During additional periods the passage could have been made by small watercraft bumping along coastlines. Similar languages, spiritual practices, hunting tools and dwellings are just a few examples of the cultural practices shared by Native Alaskan and Siberian populations.
The Bering Sea has a long history of stable, although seasonal, animal populations productively supporting human life despite otherwise harsh environmental conditions. Cold much of the year, the preserve today is a primitive landscape to which flocks of migratory birds may descend so profusely in summer as to look like snowstorms. Migrating sea mammals seasonally funnel through the Bering Strait in concentrations unknown elsewhere. The preserve continues to provide opportunities for local residents to subsistence hunt and fish.