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Juneau World Affairs Council presents "The Coast Guard's Future in the Arctic"
Published: 03/03/2011 10:00:00
Last Tuesday, the Juneau World Affairs Council hosted a presentation at Centennial Hall entitled "The Coast Guard's Future in the Arctic". Jim Clark, the group's program chair, explains why the topic was chosen.

"The Arctic we figured had merit of two things, number one; of great interest to Alaskans and it has incredible international repercussions with the opening of the Arctic. So we have run a series on the Arctic and two weeks ago we had Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell."

One of the Speakers at this event was Rear Admiral Chris Colvin, the Commander of the 17th Coast Guard District, and we asked him for the short version of what his presentation was about.

"You know ostensibly about the Coast Guard participation in the Arctic, and what we've done and for the last several years we've done quite a bit at least during the summer months operating in the Arctic, but a lot broader than just the Coast Guard participation, talked about the importance of signing the Law of the Sea Treaty, the importance of persistent presence in the Arctic. We've been watching the Chinese for example; operate in the Arctic above Alaska, now you have the 200 mile exclusive economic zone, and if we were signatories to the Law of the Sea Treaty, if the Senate ratified it, we could go ahead and extend out another oh probably all the way out to about 440 miles on the Chukchi Plateau and the Northwind Ridge. Prime Minister Harper of Canada said, with regard to Canadian Maritime Sovereignty, "Either use it or lose it". And I think that in the United States we ought to take that to heart also. It's not entirely implausible to see Chinese drilling in the Arctic someday in International waters above Alaska."

By: Rik Pruett -