Protecting the Arctic from Future Oil Spills
Why is March 24th, 2017 so important?
On this day, exactly 28 years ago, nearly 11 million gallons of oil emptied into Prince William Sound over only three days.
The tragedy of the Exxon Valdez oil spill is still present.
Oil that may be as toxic as it was 28 years ago can be found in Prince William Sound and is still affecting the ecosystem.
An oil spill could happen again...
If we don’t act now and update inadequate regulations on ship traffic in the Bering Sea. We can still protect the Arctic.
Arctic sea ice is melting and making the Arctic more accessible to ship traffic
As the Arctic Ocean becomes easier to navigate due to the loss of sea ice, it is experiencing more and more ship traffic. More traffic means higher risk.
Risks of Increased Traffic:
- Oil spills
- Vessel strikes on marine mammals
- Air pollution
- Discharge of wastes into the water
- Production of underwater noise
Bering Strait transits have more than doubled since 2008
Traffic Impacts Wildlife
The Bering Sea is used by millions of seabirds, and an array of marine mammals including whales, seals, walruses and polar bears.
Traffic Impacts Local Communities
Alaska Native peoples who live near the Bering Sea depend on its fish and wildlife as a key source of food and to support cultural practices that date back millennia.
Traffic Impacts Local Economy
The Bering Sea is home to rich commercial fisheries: in 2014, five of the top 10 most valuable commercial fisheries in the United States were based in or near the Bering Sea.
Help Us Take Action And Implement Solutions to Reduce Vessel Traffic Risks
Ocean Conservancy is working right now with others who care about the health and
future of the Bering Sea.
You can help protect the Arctic!
Ask the U.S. Coast Guard to take the next steps toward reducing risks from increasing vessel traffic in the Bering Sea. We need to put in place key measures to increase safety and reduce risk in the Arctic waters before it’s too late.
There’s still time to learn from history!
We saw first-hand what happened when we didn’t take preparedness seriously. Join us in ensuring another tragedy like Exxon Valdez doesn’t happen again.
Our Arctic is at stake!
Take action today and join the growing movement of Arctic superheros by asking the U.S. Coast Guard to move forward with effective measures to reduce the risks of growing vessel traffic in the Bering Sea and Bering Strait.
Photo Credits: Ken Cedeno, Oiled hand · Patrick J. Endres/AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com, Oiled coastline · Ocean Conservancy: Oiled bird · NOAA: Exxon Valdez · Andrew Hartsig, Alaska native villages · NOAA/John Jansen, Bearded Seal · Patrick J. Endres/AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com, Spectacled eider · Andrew Hartsig, Cruise ship · NASA, Sea ice · NASA/Mario Hoppmann, Polar bear · USFWS/Joel Garlich-Miller, Walrus · Brendan Kelly, Snowy seal · ThinkStock, Arctic tern