USA - A Strategic Approach and Interagency Leadership Could Improve Federal Efforts in the U.S. Arctic

Climate change has led to record low levels of ice in the U.S. Arctic—prolonging the shipping season and opening up shipping routes. This may expand economic opportunities, but harsh weather and ice conditions—plus the lack of maritime infrastructure—pose safety risks. For example, not having a designated harbor of refuge means ships don’t have a place to moor in an emergency.

Agencies have taken steps to address infrastructure gaps, but federal efforts lack consistent leadership and a current strategy. We recommended designating an interagency group and developing a strategy to lead efforts in addressing the region’s maritime infrastructure.

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