PROTECTING THE ARCTIC MARINE ENVIRONMENT: AN EVALUATION OF THE UNITED STATES PARTICIPATION IN THE ARCTIC COAST GUARD FORUM
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Developed under the leadership of retired Commandant, Admiral Papp, and introduced in May 2013, the United States Coast Guard (U.S. Coast Guard) Arctic Strategic Plan highlighted the need for the United States to broaden partnerships in the Arctic through international collaborative efforts. Specifically, the 2013 Arctic Strategic Plan called for future Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security leadership to explore the concept of an Arctic Coast Guard Forum (Papp, 2013). Two years later, on October 30, 2015, Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft joined leaders from seven other nations to sign a joint statement that officially established the Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF). Individual agencies with coast guard functions from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States comprise the members of the ACGF. This Masters Project evaluates the United States’ participation in the ACGF. Specifically, this project focuses on evaluating benefits of the United States’ participation in the forum directly related to protection of the marine environment and makes recommendations for future planning purposes. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with high-ranking officials having firsthand experience with the forum and the United States Coast Guard. The interview data was then analyzed to identify strategic threats, opportunities, weaknesses, and strengths related to United States participation in the ACGF. The establishment of the ACGF was a direct result of changing environmental conditions in the Arctic Region. As retreating seasonal sea ice has given way to open water and northern shipping lanes have become viable for maritime transportation and shipping. Furthermore, open water allows new opportunities to explore the extraction of oil from seafloor that was once protected by sheets of multi-year ice. Additional vessel traffic and an increase in oil and gas lease sales related to pending resources extraction has drastically increased the region’s exposure to the threat of a coastal oil spill in U.S. waters. However, the United States currently lacks the resources and experience necessary to successfully manage an environmental response in the Arctic.
ProvenancePDF updated to correct typo at request of author--mjf33 20190424
CitationHughes, Trevor (2019). PROTECTING THE ARCTIC MARINE ENVIRONMENT: AN EVALUATION OF THE UNITED STATES PARTICIPATION IN THE ARCTIC COAST GUARD FORUM. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18363.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment