It’s Polar Bear Week, our annual celebration and awareness event that normally brings snow, cold, and ice beginning to form on Hudson Bay. But, this year, with lingering warm weather and rain instead of snow, our staff scientists are concerned that the Western Hudson Bay polar bears may be facing a late freeze-up and a delayed return to their seal prey.
During Polar Bear Week, we’ve planned a range of educational programs and will also be streaming our Polar Bear Cams. In addition, we’ve launched an effort to raise funds to develop “Detect and Protect” technology to alert communities of approaching bears—an important safety measure as more polar bears are forced ashore by melting sea ice, and for longer periods, where they risk possibly deadly encounters with people.
We have a lofty goal of $150,000 to fund this preventive project and are grateful to announce a $10,000 matching grant from the Jalynn H. Bennett Foundation, doubling gifts made during this week.