As the cruise ship Crystal Serenity and her 1,700 passengers and crew began her maiden northerly voyage from Alaska to New York this past week, Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft and Arctic Caucus co-chairman Sen. Angus King held engagements in Greenland to personally observe and better understand the changes occurring in the Arctic. Diminishing sea ice is opening the Arctic to human activity, and Greenland’s melting ice sheet is leading to more icebergs and higher sea levels. These changes have implications for the U.S. and international community in various arenas to include mass rescue, pollution response, resource exploitation, human welfare, economic prosperity and national security.
Environmental changes in the polar regions are boosting new economic opportunities and transforming maritime activity in the regions. Access to previously unreachable natural resources is now possible and is encouraging new sovereignty claims by Arctic nations. All this, while eco-tourism is on the rise as the Arctic beckons to the adventurous. In the following video Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft and Arctic Caucus co-chairman Sen. Angus King, discuss the need for additional heavy icebreakers to protect U.S. economic and security interests and to enforce our own sovereignty.