In Greenland, a sea-level view of the Arctic

Kayakers in orange gear view glacier edge


A slight chill hung in the air, but the sun warmed my face as our two-person kayak silently skimmed the glassy water of Sermilik Fjord in eastern Greenland. This was my first time paddling a kayak, and I was nervous when our small, all-female tour group slid our boats into the cold sea. But my anxiety quickly dissipated amid the fjord’s overwhelming beauty and a deep feeling of belonging.

From our vantage point, I appreciated the size and scale of the hundreds of icebergs floating around us. Some appeared to be whole islands with waterfalls streaming off them. Others gave the impression of castles with flying buttresses and turrets. And some looked like I could pluck them straight from the water and take them home to plop in a cocktail.

Beneath the surface, an eerie blue glow emanated from the ice, which snapped and popped all around us, breaking apart and rolling over, constantly in motion.

During our weeklong trip, I was often struck by similarities between Greenland, a nation mostly covered in ice, and Alaska, where I live. Many issues confronting local communities and the environment in this Arctic country are the same ones we face at home—like the effects of climate change and the need to achieve sustainable development goals. Being there reinforced how interconnected these places are—and how important WWF’s work is for them and the wider world.

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