Climate change is rapidly changing the Arctic, and its implications are global. More oil to burn would only fuel the climate crisis and put the Refuge and everything living within it at risk from toxic spills and mishaps. Now is the time for bold action that permanently protects the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is located in one of the largest remaining natural areas on the planet: Alaska. The species that call the refuge home have been protected from the risks of unsustainable development for decades, but now the US government is moving forward with plans to open the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge to allow for oil and gas drilling.
The Arctic Refuge has been a place undisturbed by development. But in 2017 Congress approved opening the Coastal Plain of the Refuge to allow for oil and gas drilling. WWF has been vocal in its opposition for a host of reasons, and there is one significant bit of logic even Fish and Wildlife agrees with—the climate crisis makes the future of the region uncertain. Oil and gas development only compounds the problem.
Recent rollbacks mean a dramatic decline in the security of America’s Arctic for both people and nature. Places that are so crucial for Arctic biodiversity, such as the Bering Strait—and the people who live there—are increasingly at risk.
In some areas of the Arctic, female polar bears are more frequently choosing to build their maternity dens on land, rather than sea ice. The land provides the stability and security that sea ice no longer can—at least until human activity comes into the picture.
Throughout the Arctic, melting sea ice is causing Pacific walruses to "haul out" on land in massive groups. To minimize deadly disturbances and minimize human-polar bear conflict, WWF is establishing artificial feeding spots on polar bear routes along the coast of Russia's Chukchi Sea.
Bristol Bay, Alaska is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world and the source of the world's largest wild salmon fishery. Yet its future is in jeopardy from the proposal for Pebble Mine. Now the US Army Corps of Engineers is attempting to fast track the mine's permit application and we must take action now.
It’s the second-worst winter for sea ice in the Arctic. As this rapid warming trend continues, entire ecosystems are unraveling and the consequences are impacting daily life in the Arctic as well as life in coastal communities thousands of miles away.
In 2007, nine polar bear conflicts were registered in all of Greenland. By 2017, there were 21 conflicts between August and December in the village of Ittoqqortoormiit alone. In almost all of the 21 cases, the local polar bear patrol was called to ensure that the bears were scared away from the community and kept under observation.
January 2018 brought record-low sea ice cover to the Arctic, according to new data released by the US government. That’s bad news for the ocean, wildlife, and local communities that rely on both for survival.
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.
Alaska’s Bristol Bay is a sprawling watershed of winding streams and rivers, vast wetlands and tundra, forests of alder and spruce, and home to a variety of fish, birds and terrestrial animals. Learn more about this incredible place that WWF is working hard to save.
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