The Pew Charitable Trusts' U.S. Arctic Program, also known as Oceans North U.S., works to conserve the unique ecosystems and vibrant Native communities that depend on North America’s Arctic waters. In Alaska, these include the Beaufort, Chukchi and Bering seas. The region supports some of the world's last intact marine ecosystems, and its well-being is threatened by climate change, loss of sea ice, and rapid development.
- To develop a sound scientific basis for managing Arctic fisheries before opening the Chukchi and Beaufort seas to commercial fishing.
- To defer offshore oil and gas activity in U.S. Arctic waters until a precautionary, science-based plan is developed that reflects the concerns and needs of the region’s indigenous communities.
- To provide permanent protection for Bristol Bay from offshore oil and gas activity.
- To examine the potential impacts of increased commercial vessel traffic in the region before opening it to transcontinental vessels.
About The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Environmental Initiatives
The aim of Pew’s environmental initiatives is to strengthen policies and practices in ways that produce significant and measurable protection for terrestrial and marine systems worldwide.
How to Address U.S. Arctic Science Needs
The Pew Charitable Trusts and Ocean Conservancy recently released a white paper in which 14 independent Arctic marine scientists reviewed and reinforced the recommendations of a USGS Arctic science gap analysis. The white paper also recommends concrete steps the Obama administration should take to address science gaps and inform conservation and development decisions in America’s Arctic Ocean.
VIDEO: Don't Put America's Arctic Ocean at Risk
The oil industry recently submitted exploration plans to drill up to 10 wells over the next two summers in the U.S. Arctic Ocean for review by the Department of the Interior. As the video below shows, to allow drilling now would put this extraordinary ecosystem—and vibrant communities that have practiced a traditional way of life for thousands of years—at risk.
Arctic Oil Spill Report
Oil Spill Prevention and Response in the U.S. Arctic Ocean: Unexamined Risks, Unacceptable Consequences is the most comprehensive analysis yet on challenges to preventing and containing spills along the nation’s northernmost coast. Find details, downloads, and video >