Mark Begich Logo

Get Updates:

Mark Begich Announces Plan to Expand Arctic Economy

Begich Reaffirms Commitment to Strengthening the Coast Guard and Bringing Increased Resources and Infrastructure to the Arctic


ANCHORAGE- In a second term Mark Begich will continue to raise the profile of America as an Arctic nation by promoting new economic opportunities, strengthening our Coast Guard and protecting subsistence.

“Alaska makes America an Arctic nation and nowhere are the changes in our climate more apparent than in the Arctic, which faces significant opportunities and challenges. In the U.S. Senate I am proud to have delivered results like the Arctic Ambassador and preserving subsistence bowhead whale quotas. Increased use of the Arctic means seizing the economic opportunities of the new Arctic while protecting resources that residents of Alaska’s Arctic depend on to meet their nutrition and cultural needs. I am running to represent all the communities and interests of Alaska’s Arctic including the North Slope,” said Senator Mark Begich.


Showing his commitment to the Arctic, Begich held a call with whaling captains this week to continue listening to the needs of Alaska’s communities and how their culture and economy depend on our resources. Begich has personally advocated for whalers to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the State Department, and the International Whaling Committee to preserve the bowhead whale quota for Alaska Natives. On the call he emphasized that preserving subsistence isn’t just about preserving culture, it is about putting food on the table so people don’t starve.

Mark Begich’s Arctic Plan includes four major components:

Opportunities in Arctic Energy and Shipping

The Chukchi and Beaufort Seas boast some of the world’s most promising oil reserves, which could strengthen Alaska’s economy for decades. Meanwhile, the receding summer icepack has also opened new seasonal shipping routes atop Russia and Canada that cut distances to Europe by 40 percent and tempt adventurous tourists.

Protect Subsistence Traditions

Residents of Alaska’s North Slope and the Northern Bering Sea depend on bowhead whales and other marine mammals for their basic nutritional needs. These animals are an essential part of their culture, and these resources and traditions must be strongly supported.

Strengthen the Coast Guard and Scientific Understanding

The Coast Guard will have an unprecedented role in the emerging Arctic to assert our national interests in the Arctic Ocean and provide a presence in this rapidly changing maritime region. As Chair of the Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries and the Coast Guard, Mark has a leadership role to push the Administration to respond to this challenge moving forward.

Assert National Leadership in the Arctic

Mark’s first speech on the Senate floor focused on the promise and challenge of the Arctic. Since then, he has pushed the Administration to recognize our nation’s responsibilities as an Arctic nation. He followed with legislation to address the nation’s Arctic needs for scientific research, health care, revenue sharing, and adaption to climatic changes that are undercutting some coastal villages.