The Esperanza's Save the Arctic tour in Alaska

Greenpeace's ship, the Esperanza, sails into the Arctic Sea, right next

 

The Greenpeace ship Esperanza traveled to the Arctic to show what's at stake as melting sea ice opens the region to offshore drilling and unsustainable fishing. Scientists explored the little known waters and sea floor of the Bering and Chukchi Seas with small research submarines, and made discoveries that will help protect this pristine environment. We met with the people who have called this region home for generations, and joined a growing global movement to save the Arctic.



In the Bering Sea, we documented a rich ecosystem of corals, sponges, and other fragile marine life in the largest underwater canyons in the world, which provide a living habitat for juvenile fish and crabs. This science will help protect these important canyons from the impacts of trawling and overfishing, to ensure that the management of the largest fishery in the United States protects the food supply for marine mammals, birds and Native communities who depend on a healthy marine ecosystem for their survival.

As we work to protect these Bering Sea canyons from destructive fishing methods, we still have a chance to get it right in the Arctic. This type of industrial fishing hasn’t yet reached the waters further north in the Chukchi Sea - but industrial fishing fleets are eyeing the north as the sea ice melts, just like the oil industry.

During the first ever research submarine dive in the Chukchi Sea, Greenpeace discovered abundant corals known as "sea raspberry" where Shell hopes to begin offshore drilling in the Arctic. The discovery of these abundant corals shows just how little is known about this fragile and unique region, and raises questions about why the Arctic corals are not adequately addressed in the environmental impact statement for Shell's drilling program.

We shared our research and discussed our campaign with some of the Native Alaskan people who call this region home. We returned to the communities in the Pribilof Islands to present our discoveries and hear from people who have depended upon the fish and wildlife of the Bering Sea for generations, but are now struggling with the impacts of overfishing and destructive fishing methods like trawling.

We met the people of Point Hope, an Arctic community that has survived for thousands of years with the bounty of the Chukchi Sea. These waters, which they call their garden, are now threatened by pollution, noise, and the risk of an oil spill that would come with Shell's plans for offshore drilling in the Arctic.

The people and wildlife who call the Arctic home are on the front lines of climate change, as sea ice melts at record rates and the region warms twice as fast as the rest of the planet. But the Arctic matters for all of us too, helping keep our climate stable by reflecting the sun’s rays off its ice. As the Arctic melts, we'll see more of the extreme weather that has ravaged the planet this summer.

As the Esperanza's tour ends, our campaign to save the Arctic is just beginning. Activists around the world have challenged Shell, from its corporate headquarters in the Hague and Houston to gas stations in London and beyond. Supporters all around the world are using social media to expose Shell's multi-billion dollar Arctic hoax. Alongside our allies in the United States, we're calling on the Environmental Protection Agency and President Obama to reject Shell's request to violate air quality standards for its drilling fleet, and challenging Shell's oil spill response plan in court.

This is a global challenge, as the oil industry's record in the Russian Arctic makes clear; tons of oil are spilled on land each year, and every 18 months more than four million barrels spews into the Arctic Ocean - nearly as much as BP spilled in the Gulf of Mexico. As other oil companies seek to exploit the melting sea ice and begin drilling in Arctic waters, we know we need a global movement to draw a line in the ice and protect this fragile region. More than a million people have come together calling for a global sanctuary in the high Arctic, and a ban on offshore drilling and unsustainable fishing in Arctic waters, and more are joining every day.

Be one of them.

 

The latest updates

 

Celebrating summer solstice with some of our favorite U.S. solar projects

Blog by Jason Schwartz | June 20, 2014

Greenpeace has nothing against night time, but we have to say: these days we’re kind of into the sun. That’s why in advance of this summer solstice, the day the sun shines longest all year, we are taking a little time to give props. And we’re...

Celebrate summer with a #natureselfie!

Blog by Cassady Sharp | June 16, 2014

While it’s not officially summer until June 21st, temperatures across the country are definitely simmering.  To celebrate the season, we want to see how you enjoy the outdoors with our #NatureSelfie contest! All you have to do it snap a photo of...

Solarize: La demanda para energía solar aumenta en Carolina del Norte y a nivel nacional

Blog by Hanna Mitchell | June 12, 2014

Carolina del Norte es el corazón del territorio de Duke Energy y se ha convertido en el campo de batalla para la revolución de energía solar. Mientras Duke, la compañía de utilidades más grande del país, propiedad de sus inversores, ha intentado...

Solarize: Demand for Solar heats up in NC, Nationally

Blog by Hanna Mitchell | June 12, 2014

North Carolina is the heart of Duke Energy territory. It has also become a hotbed for the solar revolution. While Duke, the largest investor-owned utility in the country, has tried to slow down solar through attacks on net metering, people...

Fighting back against Mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia

Blog by Daile Boulis | June 10, 2014

I was catching up on Facebook when I saw a post from a local news station: “DEP Issues Mining Permit for Surface Mining Operation Located Near State Forest.” What really caught my eye was the attached graphic. My house is just to the left of the...

Citizen Koch Film Finally Premiers in U.S. Cities After David Koch Censorship

Blog by Connor Gibson | June 6, 2014

A documentary is finally about to see the light of day, after being defunded and subject to de facto censorship thanks to the influence of billionaire David Koch of Koch Industries. Tia Lessin and Carl Deal’s Citizen Koch examines how the...

What will be the impact of China’s proposed carbon emissions cap?

Blog by Li Shuo | June 4, 2014

China, the world’s biggest emitter of climate-changing greenhouse gases, may set an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions starting in 2016, according to sources quoted by Reuters. The move comes after a series of coal control measures driven by...

9 things you should know about Pres. Obama’s Clean Power Plan

Blog by Jason Schwartz | June 3, 2014

Crossposted from Grist President Obama and the EPA made history yesterday with their Clean Power Plan, a set of new regulations that will phase out many of America’s coal-fired power plants. Ben Adler over at Grist has a great 9-point rundown of...

Greenpeace joins a fight against coal in India

Blog by Emma Gibson | May 29, 2014

Mahan, a forested area in northern India, is sometimes called the ‘Badlands’ because of its history of lawlessness. It certainly feels like the wild west sometimes, except instead of a gold rush here, there’s a scramble for something a whole lot...

North Carolina Fracking Bill’s Sponsor Has Close Ties to Oil and Gas Industry

Blog by Jesse Coleman | May 28, 2014

A bill being pushed through the North Carolina legislature would fast track hydraulic fracturing in the state. The bill passed the state Senate yesterday and now heads to the House. The bill, called the Energy Modernization Act, was introduced...

21 - 30 of 1740 results.