Our national parks have been called “America’s best idea,” and
Americans are proud of the special places we have protected for the
inspiration and enjoyment of current and future generations. But
protected areas from Florida to Alaska face new challenges on a warming
planet, and melting sea ice means that a newly vulnerable area — the
Arctic — is increasingly threatened by offshore oil drilling and
industrial fishing. Protecting the Arctic is emerging as one of the
great environmental challenges of our age — so what lessons can we learn
from earlier generations who came together and won protection for the
parks, sanctuaries, and wildlife refuges that we enjoy today?
As we were making final preparations for our Save the Arctic tour in Alaska, some of the crew from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza had a chance to visit Kenai Fjords National Park,
a wild and protected area in southern Alaska where the coastline is
punctuated by extraordinary glaciers that empty into a sea dominated by
humpback whales, seabirds, orcas, and seals.