The Arctic Ocean—the pristine home to bowhead whales, gray whales, polar bears, walruses, and other magnificent wildlife, along with many indigenous communities—could potentially lose crucial protections from risky offshore oil and gas drilling.
Most of the Arctic’s federal waters are off limits to thanks to protections put in place in 2016. But the Trump administration and some in Congress want to allow fossil fuel companies to begin bidding for a chance to drill.
The Polar Bear Conservation Management Plan, which focuses on actions for the two U.S. subpopulations in Alaska, stresses the importance of climate change mitigation in curbing the loss of the polar bear’s sea ice habitat.
Who doesn't love the big, burly white bears of the north? Polar bears—at the top of the food chain and vital to the health of the Arctic marine environment—are important to the cultures and economies of Arctic peoples.
The Arctic’s summer sea ice appears to have hit its lowest extent of the year, putting pressure on the region’s diverse wildlife. Ice covered only 1.6 million square miles on Sept. 10, and 2016 is now tied with 2007 for the second-lowest sea ice extent on record, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center.
The US government announced its draft plan to conserve polar bears, calling for timely and decisive reduction of greenhouse gas emission levels to curb climate change. Immediate action to reduce the long-term impact of climate change is essential.
WWF today called on the U.S. government to prohibit offshore oil and gas drilling activities in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off of Alaska, and not to issue any new permits until companies demonstrate that they can drill safely in the region.
In recognition of the leadership role the US must play in the Arctic, especially to address climate change impacts, President Obama has announced an Executive Order that will help the US government coordinate work in the management of the Arctic and its precious resources.
Forty percent. That’s the stunning population loss for polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea. The news comes from a new study linking the dramatic decline in this polar bear subpopulation in northeast Alaska and Canada to a loss of sea ice due to climate change.