U.S Instrumental in Protecting Antarctic Waters

WASHINGTON – An international Antarctic commission has agreed to declare 1.1 million square kilometers of the Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean as a fully protected marine reserve.  The move to conserve the area comes after extensive international negotiation.  It will safeguard, for a period of 35 years, a massive swath of icy waters that are home to penguins, petrels, toothfish, seals, killer whales and other marine wildlife.

The following is a statement by Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“This was a hard-won victory for our oceans.  It shows the international community can do for the ocean what it has done for climate – protect a global commons essential to life on earth.  This move will help propel negotiations at the United Nations to enable establishment of similar protected areas in international waters, which make up almost two-thirds of the globe’s oceans. And it sets the stage for the same kind of protection in the Arctic.”


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us atwww.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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