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Alaska Delegation to Zinke: Exclude Bering Strait from OCS Proposal

The coast near Wales, Alaska

Senators Murkowski and Sullivan and Congressman Young say they support oil and gas leases in both the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. However, their letter asks Interior Secretary Zinke to remove 11 regions of offshore Alaska from the draft OCS proposal, including Bering Strait waters previously requested for protection by Kawerak.

BOEM Proposes Oil and Gas Lease Sale of Almost All Outer Continental Shelf; Kawerak and Others Not In Favor

Offshore oil rig, viewed in the distance from the shore with waves crashing in the foreground

In a reversal of Obama-era policy, a new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management proposal would open nearly all the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States to oil and gas exploration. The draft proposal recommends 19 lease sales be held in Alaska, 11 of them in areas not considered for oil and gas leasing in decades or ever before. That doesn’t sit well with regional organizations like Kawerak.

Marine Scientists Depart Nome to Study Chukchi Sea Biodiversity

Sea ice in the Chukchi Sea

Changes occurring in Arctic waters — including diminishing sea ice and warming seas — have brought up many questions about how marine life will respond. A team of scientists departing from Nome hopes to answer at least a few of those questions during a 23-day research cruise.