Arctic Ocean

Despite its extremely harsh environment, the Arctic Ocean thrives with sea life and a fragile marine ecosystem.

The Arctic Ocean is a remote and harsh environment, making oil drilling especially dangerous. It also is home to wildlife and local populations for whom an oil spill would be devastating.

Why the Arctic Ocean

The remote and frigid Arctic Ocean is home to whales, polar bears and other marine mammals. It is under great pressure from the oil industry, so we're working to keep it safe from drilling and oil spills.

Work we are doing

Drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean is a recipe for disaster. The Wilderness Society is committed to protecting the ocean and its shores from drilling.

Our Partners

The Wilderness Society works with numerous national conservation organizations in our effort to protect the Arctic Ocean.

  • Michael Reinemer

    Citing some of “the most beautiful and iconic landscapes on earth” in Teton County’s backyard, the board of commissioners Tuesday morning unanimously passed a resolution that “opposes any and all efforts by the State of Wyoming to obtain the wholesale transfer of federal lands in Wyoming” to the state. In January, Sweetwater County filed a letter with the state legislature stating similar opposition to measures that would turn over federal public lands—such as parks, wilderness, and national forests—to state jurisdiction and management.

  • Tim Woody

    In spite of Royal Dutch Shell’s disastrous performance during the 2012 Arctic Ocean drilling season, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today conditionally approved the company’s 2015 exploration plan, which provides even fewer safeguards for the Chukchi Sea and its sensitive coastline than Shell had in place three years ago. Shell also plans to bring a different rig operated by a new contractor to the Arctic Ocean in 2015, which could result in unexpected transport and drilling problems.

  • Michael Reinemer

    The Wilderness Society strongly supports bipartisan legislation, the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2015 (S. 235, H.R. 167), to fix a budgetary problem called “fire borrowing.”  This is a destructive cycle in which the Forest Service is forced to take funds from other forest programs when its allotted wildfire funds are used up, essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul to put out fires in our national forests.