Royal Dutch Shell today announced today that it will forgo its plans to drill for oil and gas in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas in 2013 so it can be more prepared to drill in the future. The decision by Shell comes on the heels of the company’s 2012 drilling season in Alaska, which was fraught with challenges, including the near-grounding of one of its drill rigs, a fire later on the same rig, the failure of its oil spill containment dome, and, ultimately, the grounding of a drilling rig on a pristine, wildlife-rich island in Alaska in late December.
Today in the Arctic, we are tackling the most defining resource issues. We are talking about the health of our planet, the survival of intact ecosystems from one generation to the next, and the world that my children and their children will inherit.
An oil drilling rig operated by Shell Oil Company ran aground on a pristine wildlife-rich island in Alaska after a series of technological failures in gale force winds and high seas—driving home WWF's serious concerns about drilling in icy and remote Arctic waters.
In the pristine Kamchatka Peninsula on the eastern coast of Russia, salmon is the keystone species of coastal ecosystems and human economies. On September 4, 2012 the Ozernaya sockeye salmon fishery in this region was certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Shell Oil Company has been granted permission by the U.S. government to begin preparatory drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. Layla Hughes, WWF’s expert on oil and gas development, shares her concerns and what WWF is doing to address them.
Between the ash-colored sky, misty rain and snow-covered shoreline, I struggled to make out the polar bears that our captain insisted were straight ahead of us. No matter how much I strained, toggling between binoculars and naked eye, all I observed was thick, milky nothingness.
We hit the trifecta. After an 18-hour boat ride through the wild waters of the Pacific, we reached Magdalena Bay, Mexico. The water was still. The sky was solid blue. We were told by our guides that dozens of gray whales, each just a few weeks old, were in this part of the bay and at the stage of their life when they wanted to do what all children want to do: play. It was the perfect set-up for whale watching.