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Admiral: Coast Guard needs greater Arctic presence

Coast Guard Academy Class of 2009 graduatingImage via Wikipedia
GENE JOHNSON
Associated Press


SEATTLE — Zipping along the northwestern Alaska coast in a helicopter on a summer day, recent Coast Guard Academy graduate Bob Papp scanned for a route his vessel could take through the ice from Nome to Kotzebue, just above the Arctic Circle. The sea was a hardened expanse, and ice even covered the shore.


That was 35 years ago.


When Papp — now Adm. Papp, commandant of the Coast Guard — returned to Kotzebue last August, there was no ice in sight.


It was a powerful reminder of how the Arctic has been altered by climate change, and of how the Coast Guard's mission in the region must change, too, Papp said during an interview aboard the Seattle-based icebreaker Healy.


New shipping lanes, increasing tourism, new access to fish stocks and especially the promise of oil and gas drilling have set off ........ http://ap.juneauempire.com/pstories/state/ak/20110530/837104115.shtml

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