Closing U.S. Arctic Ocean Science Gaps
WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pew Environment Group and Ocean Conservancy released a white paper today recommending concrete steps the Obama administration should take to address science gaps and inform conservation and development decisions in America's Arctic Ocean. The white paper is the work of 14 scientists, all experts in Arctic marine ecosystems.
"When it comes to the fragile Arctic, science, not politics, needs to guide decision making," said Marilyn Heiman, director of Pew's U.S. Arctic Program. "If we are to avoid irreparable harm to an ecosystem found nowhere else in U.S. waters, we need to develop a comprehensive research and monitoring plan and set aside significant areas for protection."
The recommendations come as the Obama administration weighs oil industry requests to expand into Arctic waters. Today is the last day for public comment on the supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Chukchi Sea Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193. Federal approval could open this little-explored area of ocean off Alaska's northwest coast to drilling.