Monday, January 12, 2009

U.S. Presidential Directive on Arctic Region Policy released January 12, 2009

 Thanks to Caitlyn Antrim, of LOS News/Ocean Law Daily, and others for providing a copy of the Presidential Directive regarding "Arctic Region Policy" signed by President Bush on Friday, January 9, and released to the media today.

The document bears the additional headings


 Today, once again, I simply post the document, available here, this time with one comment to draw your attention to Part D. Extended Continental Shelf and Boundary Issues, which highlights the United States' reliance on the ECS processes set out in the Law of the Sea Convention.

Icebreaking into the Arctic

The USCGC HEALY embarked Barrow, Alaska, in August 2008 to map the US extended continental shelf, or ECS, in the Arctic Ocean (HLY 0805). Healy sailed again from 7 August to 16 September, 2009 (HLY 0905) to continue ECS mapping, joining with the Canadian icebreaker, the Louis S. St.-Laurent. The two vessels mapped together again in 2010 (see HLY1002) and 2011 (HLY1102).

As the only law professor on the science crew, I was along on HLY 0805 and 0905 to better understand
the science behind the legal process that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea establishes for states making ECS submissions. As to why the US is mapping now, even though it has not yet acceded to the Convention, read on both here, and in the Law of the Sea notes below.

Thanks to
Vermont Law School and especially to Larry Mayer, Director of the University of New Hampshire's Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, for making my part in the trip possible.
Thanks, as well, to Adriane Colburn, for opening new windows on and for the deep.