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

 

Court stops plans for Colorado coal mine on climate change concerns

Blog by Joe Smyth | July 3, 2014

The federal coal leasing program has many flaws, such as cheating taxpayers out of billions of dollars, increasing mining that damages nearby land and water resources, and subsidizing the coal mining industry’s efforts to boost exports. But the...

What does the “Instagration” mean for you?

Blog by Cassady Sharp | July 3, 2014

Everything about your Instagram photos has changed. Facebook, who owns the photo sharing platform Instagram, recently moved all Instagram data to its own servers, away from Amazon Web Services, which had previously hosted Instagram. In case...

Battle on the Bayou: The fight over fracking comes to south Louisiana

Blog by Cassady Sharp | July 1, 2014

Authored by Dr. Stephanie Houston Grey, Associate Professor at Louisiana State University  To many Louisianans, St. Tammany Parish, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain above New Orleans, is the ultimate home of the state’s Republican...

It’s time for LEGO to block Shell

Blog by Ian Duff | July 1, 2014

Imagine you’re eight years old and picture the Arctic. There are no oil rigs, no industrial shipping and no politicians fighting over it. It’s just an endless sparkling expanse of sea and ice, populated by brave scientific explorers, magical...

Cove Point Fracked Gas Export Facility vs. Safety of 24,000 Residents

Blog by Cassady Sharp | June 27, 2014

Originally posted to EcoWatch by Karen Gibbs, Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community As a resident of the town of Lusby, MD, where a Virginia-based energy giant Dominion Resources wants to build a massive $3.8 billion liquefied natural gas...

In the Germany v. US solar match, who wins?

Blog by Cassady Sharp | June 26, 2014

Germany and the United States soccer teams face off today in what is sure to be an epic World Cup battle in Brazil (the US soccer coach led West Germany to a 1990 World Cup title). However, we think there is another arena where the two countries...

Twitter, turn my #NatureSelfie green!

Blog by Cassady Sharp | June 24, 2014

Last week, we launched a contest asking people to kick off summer  by taking a photo of themselves enjoying the outdoors and tagging it #NatureSelfie. The #NatureSelfie contest was more than just snapping candids outdoors. It’s also a way to...

Help protect the Pacific Northwest from coal exports – and the “vulture” capitalists...

Blog by Brian Manning | June 24, 2014

In the face of the coal industry’s efforts to force coal export terminals on the Pacific Northwest, thousands of people in Oregon and Washington have been working together to protect our communities. We have submitted comments, organized rallies...

Step #1 in making a better coal ash law? Stop Duke’s corrupting influence

Blog by Brian Johnson | June 24, 2014

A very important bill is sailing through the North Carolina Senate. Only four months following Duke’s massive coal ash spill at Dan River plant, S729 is the senate’s working answer to Duke’s coal ash problem. Whether the bill will contain all...

K Street Confrontation: Greenpeace Questions Coal Lobbyist Jeff Holmstead (VIDEO)

Blog by Connor Gibson | June 20, 2014

If you’re a coal lobbyist like Jeff Holmstead, getting stuck in an elevator with Greenpeace activists is an inconvenient occupational hazard. It’s worse if you can’t catch a cab during an uncomfortable conversation about your work to attack...

71 - 80 of 1803 results.