Harper Government Approves Seismic Survey in Lancaster Sound

Despite strong opposition from High Arctic communities, Oceans North Canada, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, Parks Canada and more than 11,000 Canadians, the Harper Government has decided to proceed with the seismic testing in Lancaster Sound – a proposed National Marine Conservation Area – this summer. The seismic ship is on its way NOW!

This is very disappointing news for a number of reasons:

1) Plans to establish this NMCA have been ongoing for 30 years;
2) These surveys provide information on oil & gas deposits which will eventually entice industry to gear up for exploration and production in the Arctic. A spill similar to that in the Gulf of Mexico would have devastating consequences on the region’s fragile ecosystems and wildlife; and
3) No consideration was given to the Inuit communities who are opposed to offshore oil drilling in the area, and whose livelihoods depend on the natural wealth of this area.

Voice your opposition by signing this letter to Prime Minister Harper!

Lancaster Sound is located between Devon Island and Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada and is home to a large variety of wildlife such as belugas, bowhead whales and harp seals. The region around Lancaster Sound includes bays, inlets and ice fields surrounded by high cliffs and spectacular fjords that stretch from Ellesmere Island to the Gulf of Boothia in the south, to the waters surrounding Cornwallis Island to the west.

This area has one of the highest concentrations of polar bears in the Canadian Arctic. Twenty Important Bird Areas are found inside or adjacent to the proposed protected area, providing essential habitat for large colonies of snow geese, ivory gulls, arctic terns and thick-billed murres. Protected areas like the one proposed at Lancaster Sound conserve some of our most important natural spaces, providing Canada and the world with clean air and water, abundant wildlife populations, and healthy communities and ecosystems.