The Arctic Ocean is one the most pristine marine regions on the planet.  It includes Baffin Bay in Canada and the Beaufort Sea in the United States and Canada. In the Arctic Ocean, there is a burst of plankton growth in spring that helps sustain all living things in the region for much of the rest of the year.  The Arctic’s sea ice creates an ecosystem with many species found nowhere else on earth.  The ice also reflects sunlight, which helps regulate global temperatures.  But the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet, altering both human communities and natural systems.

By the numbers

  • 800,000 years in which there has been at least some sea ice in the Arctic Ocean year round.

    4 million
     people call the Arctic region home

    950 
    miles from Arctic to nearest Coast Guard station in the event of oil spill or shipping accident

Our Work

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  • Monitoring the Floe Edge in Nunavut’s Eclipse Sound

    A research team from The Pew Charitable Trusts' Oceans North Canada project and the Institute of Marine Science at the Université du Québec à Rimouski mounted time-lapse camera stations on the remote coast of north Baffin Island to help monitor the environmental impact of an iron ore mine’s proposal for an extended shipping season through landfast ice in Eclipse Sound. Read More

  • 3 Reasons to Keep High Seas Arctic Fishing on Ice

    The five countries surrounding the Arctic Ocean agreed July 16 that they will not start commercial fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean—the international waters beyond these nations’ 200-mile exclusive economic zones (EEZ)—unless and until science-based fishery management measures are in place. Read More

  • Monitoring the Floe Edge in Nunavut’s Eclipse Sound

    Socked in under a thick layer of fog on the shores of Nunavut’s Eclipse Sound, we begin a day marked by impatience for me. Our research team, a joint project of Pew’s Oceans North Canada and the Institute of Marine Science of the Université du Québec à Rimouski, has important work to do and a narrow window in which to do it. But for now, all we can do is wait. Read More