aerial view of belugas swimming in the Bering Sea

Project

Protecting Life in the Arctic

The spectacular Arctic encompasses more than 17 percent of the globe, harboring some of our planet’s least disturbed large marine ecosystems. Four million residents, including 30 different indigenous groups, call this region home. Life in the Arctic has been shaped for thousands of years by the ability to adapt to this land of perpetual ice and snow.

The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet, fundamentally altering both human communities and natural systems. Retreating sea ice is not only restructuring Arctic ecosystems, it is also permitting new industrial access for commercial fishing, offshore energy and commercial shipping on a scale never seen before.

To protect life in the Arctic, we must build conservation solutions that address the rapidly changing Arctic environment. At the same time, we must work to lower carbon emissions that are the major cause of global warming.

Pew promotes science- and community-based conservation of the Arctic waters in the United States, Canada, and Greenland, and between nations in the international Arctic.

Our program advocates scientifically sound policies consistent with indigenous land claims and traditional practices in the following areas:

  • Sustainable commercial fishing.
  • Environmentally responsible offshore hydrocarbon development and oil spill standards.
  • Marine habitat protection
  • Appropriate Arctic shipping safety rules.
Press Releases & Statements

Pew Expresses Support for Arctic Safeguards

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Press Releases & Statements

WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts applauds today’s action by the Obama administration to remove the U.S. Arctic Ocean from the 2017-22 Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program.

Project

Arctic Ocean - Greenland

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Project

More than 75 percent of Greenland, the world's largest island, is covered by ice. Its people are coastal, with strong cultural and economic ties to the ocean and sea ice that sustain them. Fishing for Greenland halibut, shrimp, and crab is the primary industry for the country's predominantly Inuit population of 56,000. The government has also begun to explore mining on land and the potential for oil and gas development in offshore waters. Protecting the ocean's resources is essential to Greenland's future.