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  • President Obama cancels 2016 and 2017 oil lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas

    October 19, 2015

    The Obama Administration has cancelled the two potential Arctic offshore oil lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas that were threatening the future of this region. The newly cancelled leases were scheduled for 2016 and 2017 under the current five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program for 2012-2017, and the decision was made based on the poor “current market conditions and low industry interest.”

    Arctic Ice
  • Shell Abandons Drilling in America's Arctic Ocean

    September 28, 2015

    After years of searching for oil in the cold and turbulent waters of Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its plans to drill for the “foreseeable future.” This announcement is the conclusion of weeks of summer exploration, where results of drilling to a depth of 6,800 feet indicated oil and gas findings were “not sufficient to warrant further exploration.”

    Beluga Whales Chukchi Sea
  • Approval of Shell Drilling Permit Brings Renewed Risk to the Arctic

    July 23, 2015

    The US government has given approval to Royal Dutch Shell to conduct exploratory drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska. WWF has long opposed drilling in this region, which is crucial for wildlife, fisheries and local people.

    whale calf Chukchi Sea
  • US Government Gives Conditional Approval to Shell for Exploratory Drilling in America’s Arctic

    May 11, 2015

    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.

    The Kasegaluk Lagoon is one of the largest lagoon systems in the Arctic. It runs over many miles along the coast of the Chukchi Sea. Belugas, many fish species and birds use these coastal lagoons.
  • Five Years After Deepwater Horizon Spill

    April 16, 2015

    Five years later in the Gulf of Mexico and 26 years after the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound, biologists are still recording lasting ecological impacts in these marine areas. Oil spills are impossible to contain in the marine environment, even under the best of conditions. Yet the US government has given Shell Oil Company a preliminary green light to push forward with offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

    deepwater skimming
  • Alaska’s Bristol Bay Protected from Oil and Gas Drilling

    December 16, 2014

    Today President Obama announced the protection of Bristol Bay, Alaska, from offshore oil and gas drilling. Bristol Bay is home to the last pristine salmon ecosystem in North America and stands unmatched in its productivity. Nearly 50 percent of the world’s wild sockeye salmon come from these waters.

    Bristol Bay, Alaska
  • Better Choices at the Great Barrier Reef

    October 27, 2014

    For decades, the Great Barrier Reef has enjoyed World Heritage Status and been synonymous with diving, tourism and with Australia. But in June of this year, UNESCO threatened to downgrade the Great Barrier Reef to the World Heritage ‘In Danger’ list; a category populated predominantly by war-torn and developing nations. The final decision should be made in 2015.

    aerial great barrier reef
  • Report: US Communities and Wildlife Would Be Affected by Arctic Oil Spill

    July 25, 2014

    New research mapping a range of oil spill scenarios in the Canadian Beaufort Sea finds that a spill would likely reach the U.S. shorelines of Alaska and could affect the local communities and wildlife living there.

    Polar bear
  • A Win for Virunga

    June 11, 2014

    News that Soco will stop exploring for oil in Africa’s oldest national park, Virunga, is a monumental win for conservation and for the people who depend on the park. Virunga is home to astounding biodiversity and rare wildlife, like critically endangered mountain gorillas.

    mountain gorilla
  • 25 Years After One of the World's Worst Ecological Disasters

    March 24, 2014

    March 24 marks the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska that alerted the world to the dangers of oil development in the Arctic.

    oil cleanup
  • Saving Amazing Landscapes From Oil and Gas Development

    February 03, 2014

    One of the largest oil and gas development companies in the world, Total SA, has committed to keeping out of all natural World Heritage Sites around the globe, including Virunga National Park. But one company that is not respecting World Heritage status is Soco International PLC, which plans to continue to explore in Virunga - home to more than half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. 

    Congo Basin, Virunga Mountains
  • ice on Chukchi Sea coast, Alaska
  • UK Government Opposes Soco's Oil Exploration in Virunga

    October 24, 2013

    Plans by London-based oil company Soco International PLC to explore for oil in Virunga National Park, Africa’s oldest national park, have hit firm opposition from the UK government.

    virunga landscape and person
  • Breaking the Cycle

    September 17, 2013

    The amount of ice covering the Arctic Ocean’s surface has reached its lowest point this year. Why is the ice melting so quickly? Black carbon is partly to blame.

    polar bear Svalbard Arctic
  • Help Save Virunga

    August 01, 2013

    Virunga is home is Africa's oldest national park and the greatest variety of wildlife on the continent. But there’s a real chance it could become its newest oil field. Some places are just too precious to be exploited in this way. Please help us and take action now.

  • Good News for Africa's Oldest National Park

    May 17, 2013

    Oil and gas group Total will not explore for oil within the boundaries of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chairman and CEO Cristophe de Margerie announced.

    virunga gorilla
  • U.S. and Other Arctic Countries Urged to Create Oil Response Plans

    May 15, 2013

    The United States will be required to develop a plan for responding to oil and gas spills in the Arctic Ocean if an agreement signed today by Secretary of State John Kerry and others is adhered to by the U.S. government.

    oil cleanup ship
  • WWF Takes the Wheel on Arctic Shipping

    May 14, 2013

    As climate change melts Arctic sea ice, the Bering Strait is seeing a marked increase in shipping traffic. WWF is taking action to ensure that development in the Arctic occurs in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

    Ship in Arctic
  • Shell Announces No Drilling this Year in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas

    February 27, 2013

    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.

  • WWF Works to Protect Alaska as Oil and Gas Drilling Raises Concerns

    August 30, 2012

    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.

    Arctic landscape
  • Whale Encounter Illustrates Urgent Need to Keep Waters Healthy

    February 21, 2012

    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.