Obama Administration announces sweeping protection for Arctic and Atlantic Ocean

U.S. releases new commitments to protect the Arctic from threats from increased industrial activity.

New Protections in the Arctic

Media Contact: 

Julia Roberson

PORTLAND, OR – In response to the Obama Administration’s United States-Canada Joint Arctic Leaders’ Statement, Ocean Conservancy’s president Janis Searles Jones issued the following statement today: 

“Today, President Obama took action to further his legacy as a leader in protecting the Arctic from the threats of climate change, by protecting 115 million acres of federal waters in the Arctic Ocean from oil and gas drilling, initiating measures to make shipping safer, moving forward with a plan to phase out heavy fuel oil and reaffirming a commitment to science-based fishery management in the Arctic.  An additional 3.8 million acres in the Atlantic Ocean will also be permanently protected from oil and gas activity.

“Today’s announcement reflects a commitment from the US and Canada to work together on these key Arctic issues, including continued support for the ban on commercial fishing in Arctic waters, identification of important shipping corridors, and a moratorium on new oil and gas leases in the Canadian Arctic.

“Communities, wildlife and our ocean are already experiencing profound impacts as a result of climate change. Ocean Conservancy supports President Obama’s goal of protecting important ocean resources and reducing the long-term effects of climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

“We applaud the bilateral commitments with Canada to protect the Arctic from threats from increased industrial activity, including oil and gas and shipping. Now more than ever, Ocean Conservancy stands ready to fight for lasting, community and science-based solutions for a healthy ocean.”

Ocean Conservancy is working with you to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit www.oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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