The most at-risk coastal and marine animals in the United States, Canada, and Alaska include several species of whale, seal, fur seal, sea otter, sea turtle, seabird, and migratory fish such as salmon. The most serious dangers facing these animals include habitat loss, water pollution, ocean acidification, overfishing, vessel collisions, climate change and disease.
The most at-risk coastal and marine areas in the United States include coastal areas of California, Oregon, and Washington State, as well as the Gulf Coast and East Coast. In Canada, the coastal regions of British Columbia and Quebec are particularly vulnerable.
In Alaska, areas along the coast of the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Alaska are at risk.
The climate crisis, global warming, and anthropogenic activity contribute significantly to the deterioration of coastal and marine ecosystems in the United States, Canada, and Alaska.
Climate change causes sea level rise, ocean acidification and increased water temperatures, which can negatively affect the survival and reproduction of marine animals. Anthropogenic activity, such as overfishing and water pollution, causes further damage to coastal and marine ecosystems.
The animals most at risk in US coastal and marine areas
The coastal and marine animals most at risk in the United States, Canada, and Alaska are diverse and may vary by region.
The Gray Whale, a large cetacean that migrates along the Pacific coast of the United States, is at risk due to noise pollution, the exploitation of marine resources and collisions with ships.
American seals and sea lions are exposed to bycatch, pollution and climate change. Some species, such as the Hawaiian monk seal, are critically endangered.
Several species of sea turtles, such as the green turtle and leatherback turtle, are threatened by accidental fishing, pollution and habitat loss.
Atlantic right whales are critically endangered due to habitat loss, pollution, climate change and ship collisions. Caspian seal is endemic to Lake Baikal, Siberia, but occasionally makes its way to northern Canada, where it is threatened by illegal hunting and habitat loss.
Ice seals, primarily found in Canadian Arctic waters, are threatened by climate change and declining sea ice.
Polar bears are at risk due to rapidly melting Arctic sea ice, reducing their hunting opportunities and the availability of prey. Sei whales migrate to Alaskan waters and are threatened by commercial hunting, pollution and disturbance from human activities.
Bearded seal is at risk due to hunting, climate change and shrinking sea ice, which affects its life cycle.