One Million for the Arctic

Today, May 15, the Sierra Club and more than 10 other organizations are delivering more than 1 million comments to President Obama, asking him to protect the Polar Bear Seas of America’s Arctic. The timing is key: right now, Shell Oil’s drill ships are on their way to the Polar Bear Seas in the Arctic Ocean to begin the most aggressive offshore Arctic drilling program in history.

The Polar Bear Seas, also known as the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, are home to the entire U.S. population of polar bears. Even after the gusher in the Gulf, Shell has no viable plan to clean up an Arctic oil spill. President Obama needs to step in and stop Shell’s rush to drill the Arctic. A catastrophic oil spill where there is no infrastructure to do clean-up will decimate native peoples as well as the caribou, bowhead-whales and other unique wildlife who call the Arctic home.

The Arctic may seem too far away to affect our lives in the lower 48, but we are linked to this majestic frontier. Every year, nearly 200 species of birds hatch and raise their young in the Alaskan Arctic tundra and ocean. These birds journey to all 50 states, and touch six continents before heading back to the Arctic, where the cycle of life is renewed. Among these amazing migrants are the Arctic tern, whimbrel and trumpeter swan.

The Polar Bear Seas aren’t the only Arctic wilderness area at stake right now. The Obama Administration also has the opportunity to protect 23.5 million acres of the Western Arctic (the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska), an area that currently has no lasting protections. This landscape supports the calving grounds of our nation’s largest caribou herd, the highest concentration of grizzly bears and wolverines in the Arctic, and Teshekpuk Lake is the most significant wetland complex in America for millions of shorebirds and waterfowl.

This issue is now coming to a crescendo — and now is the time to make our voices heard. Today we are delivering more than a million comments to the White House, and you can amplify these voices by adding your own: go to to call the White House today and ask them to protect the special places of America’s Arctic.

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Another Exxon Valdez?

Photo credit: Steven Kazlowski


Wende Anne Maunder
Wendé Maunder6 years ago

Leave the Arctic alone. It may be melting (almost certainly because of human activity), but it manages very well without us. We've messed-up every other part of planet and I really don't want to leave our poisonous print on this pristine place.

federico bortoletto
federico b6 years ago


Dianne D.
Dianne D6 years ago

We need to re-elect Obama, and get a Democratic senate and house of representatives in the white house to get this drilling stopped. Republicans are bought and paid for by corporations. We also need to get Ken Salazar out of the White House. He acts like a Republican and not a Democratic who is for the people. I heard on the news this week that the USA is now exporting more oil than we are importing. Lets keep some of the oil here and not drill in these area's.

Tracey Stivala
Tracey Stivala6 years ago

I hate what man does to our natural habitats and how he manages to wipe out entire species. we need to stop it before he ends up wiping us out. and believe me, he will. Please help the helpless and save these beautiful creatures. we've done more than enough damage to the oceans and the animals that live and rely on them. God help them, please..

Kate Kenner
Kate Kenner6 years ago

The article stated that those of us who live in the lower 48 may not comprehend the impact of drilling but I am not concerned on its impact on me. I am concerned about the impact on the environment and the animals who live there. I don't save the environment for future generations, I save it for itself. My daughter will not have children probably and I totally support that. There are too many people in the world and really, I wouldn't want to bring a child into this world. To do it for the grandchildren feels what I call humancentric as it seems to be for the humans and not necessarily for those directly affected- the animals and trees and all that is not human. I would want a healthy planet for my grandchildren there were going to be some but it would not be the main reason.

Tanja O.
Tanja O.6 years ago

Don’t fool yourself by saying … let’s hope. It is all about the money
“Give me the Money!”

David V.
David V6 years ago

Obama hasn't done a blessed thing since he was president except removing the protections from wolves BUT I am sure he will allow drilling. He will not do one good deed as president. He is the WORST PRESIDENT EVER!!!

Isabel A.
Isabel Araujo6 years ago

Let us hope for the best...

nicola w.
Jane H6 years ago

Obama - best option though...

Aimie Halo Foster

I am so glad to see this happening. We the People, still have a voice in this country, we just need to use it and don't stand down til we succeed!