Polar Bears International

Polar bear mom and cub roam the last of the summer sea ice near Svalbard, Norway.

© Kt Miller/polarbearsinternational.org

6/6/2018 10:20:19 PM

Celebrating the Arctic: World Oceans Day

Text and photos by Kt Miller, Media Specialist at Polar Bears International

A black and white photo, taken by my grandfather, hangs in my parent’s house. In the image I am five years old and carefully arranging a seashell collection on a picnic table in Massachusetts. I’d spent the morning running barefoot through the sand, immersing myself in the salt and the sea and the wonder that is the Atlantic Ocean. That was my first introduction to the magic of the saltwater world.

As an adult I’ve come to know the ocean in a colder way— through my work with polar bears in the Arctic.

When thinking of polar bears, it’s easy to forget how connected they are to the ocean. The bears we are familiar with at southern latitudes live on land, but Ursus maritimus, the polar bear’s scientific name, directly translates to “sea bear.” Polar bears live and hunt on the frozen ocean— they need sea ice simply to survive.

But the Arctic ecosystem is so much more than just the polar bear’s home. The frozen ocean is like the heartbeat, the pulse, that allows all creatures — humans included —to thrive.

sea ice

As humans, we tend to protect the places that we love. Many of us fall in love with a place by experiencing it. Because the Arctic is so remote it is difficult to imagine and understand what it is actually like and how we are all related and connected to it.

That is why we are excited to announce that Polar Bears International will be joining legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle and her team at Mission Blue on an expedition to Svalbard, Norway, later this month. Not only will we be collaborating with Mission Blue to bring back our stories and experiences to share with you— but together we will reach out in real time via live broadcasts from the Arctic!

Stay tuned for more information on our live broadcasts, and join us to virtually experience, and perhaps fall in love, with the magical world of the polar bear— the Arctic.

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