News

Using Science to Conserve the Arctic

Audubon Alaska released the 'Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas'

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 7, 2017

CONTACTS:
Melanie Smith, Director of Conservation Science, masmith@audubon.org
Elisabeth Gustafson, Communications Manager, egustafson@audubon.org, 907-276-7034

ANCHORAGE, AK – Audubon Alaska has just released the Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas, a comprehensive, transboundary atlas containing over 100 maps of Arctic marine mammals, seabirds, sea ice, subsistence, energy infrastructure, and more. The Ecological Atlas will be distributed to policymakers and scientists across the country, and it is available for free download on the Audubon Alaska website.

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The Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas represents the current state of knowledge on subjects ranging from physical oceanography to species ecology to human uses. It is organized into six topic areas that build, layer by layer, the ecological foundation of these three seas: Physical Setting, Biological Setting, Fishes, Birds, Mammals, and Human Uses. The Atlas culminates in a Conservation Summary, which shares the key themes and management recommendations stemming from this work.

Through publication of the Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas, Audubon Alaska aims to inform sustainable management of the Arctic’s natural resources. The significance of the Arctic lies not only in its immense biological productivity, but also in the impact the region has on the rest of the world. The Arctic affects global weather systems, temperatures, ocean circulation patterns, and is increasingly influencing global trade, energy extraction, and tourism.

The need for a comprehensive analysis of US Arctic waters is especially pressing in light of the fact that the Trump administration is moving forward with plans to expand offshore drilling in the region. The Department of the Interior recently started a two-year planning process to replace the 2017-2022 Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which outlines where offshore oil and gas leasing may occur.

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Since 1977, Audubon Alaska's mission is to conserve the spectacular natural ecosystems of the state, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations. Audubon Alaska uses science to identify conservation priorities and support conservation actions and policies, with an emphasis on public lands and waters. www.AudubonAlaska.org

Now in its second century, the National Audubon Society is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Our national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in conservation. Audubon Alaska, a state office of the National Audubon Society, has worked to conserve birds in the state since 1977. 

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