Today the Bureau of Land Management posted a plan to move forward with potentially allowing a permit for seismic exploration on a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s Coastal Plain this winter. In response, WWF issued the following statement from Margaret Williams, managing director, Arctic Program:
“The severe impacts of climate change and the loss of sea ice have already caused significant declines in the Southern Beaufort Sea polar bear population. Allowing seismic exploration will only further deepen their struggle.
“This intensive activity, and the noise and vibration that comes with it, will trample all over areas known to be important for female polar bears who are denning, adding one more dangerous risk to a population that has already faced severe loss of critical habitat.”