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Images Celebrate the People, Places, and Wildlife of the U.S. Arctic Ocean

Ahead of a summit about Arctic issues, these photos remind us what is at stake

The Arctic Ocean environment is rapidly changing. How to manage this evolution is among the agenda items at the U.S.-Nordic Leaders Summit scheduled for May 13.

Safeguarding especially important areas is essential to keeping this sensitive ecosystem healthy and providing local communities and businesses that have invested in the region with more certainty about their future.

In January 2015, President Barack Obama, using his authority under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, took steps to protect some of the most delicate and special places. His order designated portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off-limits to future oil and gas leasing in order to protect areas of importance for their unique and sensitive environmental resources and for subsistence use by indigenous peoples. Here are six photos that celebrate people, places, and wildlife in America’s Arctic region.

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