PROTECT ALASKAN WATERS
ACTION DEADLINE: November 22, 2006
** Stop offshore oil and gas drilling in important Alaskan waters. **
The federal Minerals Management Service is proposing that three wildlife-rich Alaskan marine areas be opened up to oil and gas drilling:
- Bristol Bay is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. It is home to the largest wild sockeye salmon runs in the world; important nursery grounds for red king crab and Pacific halibut; staging areas and wintering grounds for tens of millions of seabirds; and a feeding ground and migration corridor for marine mammals, including five endangered species.
- The Chukchi Sea has polar bears, walruses, three species of ice seals, beluga whales, gray whales and endangered bowhead whales, and is a staging and molting ground for migratory birds.
- The Beaufort Sea is home to walruses, seals, migratory birds and endangered bowhead whales. Its coast has the largest concentration of female polar bear denning areas in North America. This sea already has 181 active leases.
Offshore drilling would have many negative impacts, including onshore development, pollution, increased shipping traffic, noise disturbance and potential oil spills with disastrous consequences.
These marine ecosystems should never be developed for oil and gas production. Because of its high ecological value, Bristol Bay has been protected from offshore energy development for many years. In the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, climate change is causing severe changes in those arctic waters, resulting in loss of habitat for polar bears, walruses and seals. Oil and gas drilling would further exacerbate the threats to these already imperiled species.
>>TAKE ACTION ONE OF TWO WAYS by November 22, 2006
Note: Do not hit "reply" to this email or go to the WWF Web site to take action.
1. Enter comments directly into the Minerals Management Service's two online comment forms. Use the links below to access the forms. There are two public comment periods underway; fill out both forms with the same comments. You can copy our comments, shown further below. Please add your own thoughts to increase your impact. You'll be asked to provide a title for your comments. We suggest "No drilling in Bristol Bay, Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea."
2. Mail letters to the Minerals Management Service. Mail the same letter to each of the two recipients shown below. You can copy our comments, shown below. Please add your own thoughts to increase your impact.
Please forward this alert to your friends. You can make a huge difference for Alaska's marine fish and wildlife. Thank you for your help.
Managing Director and Vice President
World Wildlife Fund
Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2007-2012
Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the 5-Year Program for 2007-2012
SUGGESTED COMMENTS TO MINERALS MANAGEMENT SERVICE
5-year Program Manager
Minerals Management Service
381 Elden Street, MS 4010
Herndon, VA 20170
James F. Bennett
5-Year Draft EIS Comments
Minerals Management Service
381 Elden Street, MS 4042
Herndon, VA 20170
Dear Minerals Management Service,
Please accept these comments on the Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2007-2012 and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the 5-Year Program for 2007-2012.
I urge you to remove Bristol Bay (also known as the North Aleutian Basin), the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea from among the proposed lease areas. In the Beaufort Sea, at an absolute minimum, Dease Inlet and Smith Bay should be excluded from leasing.
Bristol Bay, the Chukchi Sea, and the Beaufort Sea are all areas of extremely high ecological value. They are home to millions of marine mammals, including several endangered species; tens of millions of seabirds; and a huge, billion dollar fishing industry. At the same time, there is much about the ecology of these areas that is not known, rendering it virtually impossible to measure the severe impacts from energy development.
However, we do know that seismic testing, disposal of contaminated drilling byproducts and oil spills put marine creatures at high risk. Research shows that only a small fraction of oil spilled in marine waters can be removed, especially in icy waters. Oil spills could also destroy important subsistence resources for local communities.
Instead of drilling in such important natural areas, our nation should develop clean energy solutions that would start saving consumers money right away, while safeguarding America's precious marine resources.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Add your name and