Arctic Ocean - U.S.

Accelerated melting of the polar ice cap is rapidly altering the Arctic’s marine ecosystem and providing unprecedented access for industrial fishing, natural resource extraction and shipping. Without adequate precautionary policies and long-term protections, increased development poses significant risks for the extreme, remote and vulnerable Arctic.

Alaska is home to America’s Arctic, where some of the world’s last intact large marine ecosystems are threatened by climate change, loss of sea ice, and unchecked industrialization. The U.S. Arctic Ocean boasts abundant biodiversity found nowhere else in the U.S. as well as iconic places like the Chukchi Sea coast, Barrow Canyon, and Bristol Bay that provide vital habitat for globally significant populations of fish, seabirds, shorebirds, walrus, ice seals, bowhead and beluga whales, and other marine mammals. In this region of ice and snow, indigenous communities have thrived for thousands of years by living a traditional way of life sustained in large part by the ocean’s natural bounty.

The Pew Charitable Trusts' work in the U.S. Arctic helps conserve these unique ecosystems, marine life and vibrant indigenous communities. We seek to protect environmentally sensitive Arctic marine habitat and to promote science-based policies to guide environmentally responsible development of new industrial activities in these waters.

Learn more about our priorities

The U.S. Arctic Program focuses on:

Indigenous Alaska Communities


Our Work

Media Contact

Christine Fletcher

Officer, Communications