Murkowski collects Arctic testimony

Posted: Friday, August 21, 2009

ANCHORAGE - Speakers invited to a U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee said more Arctic research is needed as Alaska adjusts to changing conditions due to global warming.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski chaired the meeting Thursday.

Dave Benton of the Marine Conservation Alliance, a fishing trade group, said the rate of change is outstripping the country's understanding of the Arctic.

North Slope Borough Mayor Edward Itta called for beefed up baseline data. He said the status of wildlife populations and habitat must be known before outer continental shelf development begins or the impacts will not be understood.

Others, including Gov. Sean Parnell, called for more infrastructure for the Coast Guard.

Parnell said the agency needs a duty station or port on Alaska's west or north coast.

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