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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Obama creates ‘resilience area’ to protect Bering ecosystem

By Dan Joling Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – President Obama used his executive powers Friday to add protections to waters off Alaska’s west coast.

The White House announced creation of a Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area that will focus “locally tailored” protections on marine resources.

The area covers 112,300 square miles and supports the annual marine mammal migration of bowhead and beluga whales, Pacific walrus, ice seals and migratory birds.

Residents of 39 coastal villages dependent on marine resources have urged that that their views be heard as the Arctic is affected by climate warming, expanding ship traffic and offshore petroleum drilling.

The White House executive order establishes a task force with village representation that will consult on federal management activities in the area and work to protect cultural and subsistence activities.