Audubon Alaska completed a draft atlas of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in August and is currently taking public comment on the project, according to a release on their website.
The project area includes the southern Beaufort, southern Chukchi and northern Bering seas.
Audubon, in cooperation with Oceana, compiled an extensive database of Arctic marine data using Geographic Information Systems. GIS enables researchers to ask questions and analyze information in new ways. According to the release, the new draft atlas provides a holistic look at the Arctic Ocean ecosystem, and will be an important tool for scientists and policymakers in setting conservation priorities and designing balanced management plans in the Arctic region.
The collection of 44 maps contains information on the physical environment, such as sea ice formation, the distribution of ice-dependent species including polar bears, and illustrates energy development.
The organization is accepting public comments on the draft atlas until Nov. 15. For additional information or to submit your comments, please contact Melanie Smith at 907-276-7034.