Cordova is a city located near the mouth of the Copper River in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska, United States, at the head of Orca Inlet on the east side of Prince William Sound. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 2,240 in 2009. Cordova was founded as a result of the discovery of high-grade copper ore at Kennecott, north of Cordova. It was initially named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo in 1790.
In March 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef northwest of Cordova causing one of the most devastating environmental disasters in North America. The resulting oil spill severely affected the area's salmon and herring populations leading to a recession of the local, fishing-reliant economy as well as disrupting the general ecology of the area.
Commercial fishing is the main industry in Cordova. Despite being on the mainland, Cordova is only accessible via sea or air, in large part due to the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake and the resulting destruction it caused to the Million Dollar Bridge.