Department of the Interior takes essential stand for the future of polar bears, designates critical habitat
- The Department of the Interior today announced it will protect more than 187,000 square miles of onshore barrier islands, denning areas and offshore sea ice as critical habitat.
- As the Arctic warms, it is more than likely we will see increased development of the coastal region and offshore areas of Alaska. Designation of critical habitat is essential to help polar bears as they navigate the loss of sea-ice from climate change and other impacts to their habitat while providing clarity for future planning and development.
- Critical habitat designation will ensure that the federal government considers the impacts on polar bear habitat of actions it authorizes, funds, or carries out to ensure that critical habitat will not be adversely modified or destroyed.
The following is a statement by Karla Dutton, Alaska director for Defenders of Wildlife:
“Today’s decision to designate critical habitat will provide crucial protection for polar bears, a species watching its habitat melt from beneath its feet. Designating critical habitat will help ensure that federal actions will not contribute to the polar bear’s plight.”
Contact(s):Karla Dutton, (907) 863-4461 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
Caitlin Leutwiler, (202) 772-3226, email@example.com