What if the ground beneath your feet, the very foundation of your life and livelihood, was at risk of eroding away? What if the very thing from which you and your community draw 95% of your wealth was at risk of disappearing?
This is the reality that Aitutaki, a small island in the Cook Islands, and many other small islands around the world, are facing. Aitutaki, and its stunning lagoon, is protected by a coral reef. Powerful ocean waves crash on the edges of the reef, but because coral reduces wave strength by 97%, the lagoon and the coral sand beaches remain still and calm. The value of this protection, and the environment it creates, cannot be overstated.
Today, Alaska Senator Mark Begich introduced important new legislation that would establish a permanent program to conduct research, monitoring, and observing activities in the Arctic. If passed, Senator Begich’s bill could lead to significant advances in Arctic science that can then be used to support decisions about the management of a region that is crucial not only to the people who live there, but to the world.