Coast Guard Wants Funds to Patrol Thawing Arctic

Warming makes Bering Strait a new frontier
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2010 6:13 PM CDT
Coast Guard Wants Funds to Patrol Thawing Arctic
In this picture taken on Monday, Aug. 24, 2009 the Greenpeace vessel the Arctic Sunrise passes through the Sermilk Fjord in Greenland.   (AP Photo/Karl Ritter)

As climate change increasingly turns the once-frozen Bering Strait into a viable shipping route, a US Coast Guard admiral is begging his government for more resources to police and protect Arctic waters, the AP reports. Rear Admiral Christopher Colvin points to Russia's bold shipping expeditions over the top of the globe as evidence that "We have to have presence up there to protect our claims for the future."

"The Bering Strait will end up becoming a significant marine highway in the future, and we're seeing it with Russia, the way they are promoting this maritime transportation route above Russia right now, today," Colvin says. He paints a picture of the Coast Guard's Arctic resources that are about as bleak as you'd expect for a remote destination in a recessionary economy: One working icebreaker ship, and no base north of Kodiak, Alaska, 1,000 miles from the Arctic.
(Read more climate change stories.)

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