The Sheenjek River, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Alexis Bonogofsky for USFWS

NRDC joins forces with Indigenous peoples, scientists, and environmental groups to protect the extraordinary landscapes, majestic seas, and iconic wildlife of Alaska and the Arctic.

Special places, like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, are under constant threat from dirty extractive industries. With our partners, we’re fighting to permanently protect federal lands and waters from oil and gas development and other atrocious exploitation.

NRDC elevates the voices of Indigenous people whose way of life depends on the natural world, supporting them in advocacy and communications. Following the lead of Arctic residents who are already experiencing the harms of climate change and industrialization, we also support a just transition for the region toward clean energy and away from dependence on fossil fuels.

Some of our accomplishments:

  • NRDC provided the visionary leadership to secure permanent protections for 98 percent of the entire U.S. Arctic Ocean from offshore leasing for oil and gas. When President Trump unlawfully attacked that ban, NRDC and Earthjustice took the administration to court and won.
  • Coordinating with scientists, partner groups, and congressional allies, NRDC has successfully worked to stave off potentially disastrous seismic surveys of the biological heart of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, America’s largest pristine wildland. Not only have we set the stage for successful litigation over any fossil fuel exploration or leasing in that sensitive area, but we have also helped shape legislation in Congress to bar all oil- and gas-related activity there.
  • We are aggressively pursuing strategies to stop fossil fuel development in America’s largest public reserve in the western Arctic and litigating against lease sales and dirty energy exploration authorized by the Trump administration.
  • Alaska’s pristine Bristol Bay watershed provides half the world’s wild sockeye salmon, supports 14,000 jobs, and generates $1.5 billion in economic activity every year. The proposed open-pit gold and copper Pebble Mine project threatens to poison the bay’s headwaters with up to 10 billion tons of mining waste. NRDC is teaming up with businesses, fishing communities, and Indigenous groups to urge investors and the Trump administration to stop this risky project.