(though our trip is now over we plan to raise funds through 2008. See below for details on how you can help)

We have chosen to raise money for

WWf-Canada because we believe in their approach to protecting the wilderness. They advocate a sustainable wilderness, and they work closely with indigenous groups as well as with scientists and other conservation organizations. They are recognized and respected, and they have already done much to protect Canada’s arctic wilderness over the past 25 years. In particular, WWF-Canada is working to make a difference in the following areas:

WWF-Canada sees a need to increase and connect protected areas in the Canadian Arctic in order to sustain populations of caribou, musk oxen, polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, and other animals threatened by a fragmented environment. Calving areas, migration routes, denning sites, and feeding territories are being threatened by the subdivision of the arctic for gold mines, diamond mines and oil development.

Climate Change
The Canadian arctic is environmentally sensitive to the short-term effects of global warming. Temperatures in the Arctic have increased by about 5% in the last 100 years. The sea ice has receded 14% in less than 40 years, and permafrost is thawing in many areas. As snow and ice melt more solar radiation is absorbed instead of being reflected off its bright surface, thus exacerbating warming further. Sea ice could be melting by 10% every ten years. If allowed to continue at this rate, ice will disappear completely in less than 100 years. By that time polar bears, and seals among many other animals could very likely become extinct. As “southerners,” we bear most of the responsibility for the CO2 emissions causing this phenomenon.

Toxic Pollution
Pollutants, which are produced in the south, make their way to the Arctic via air and ocean currents, rivers, and migratory wildlife. Many of the airborne pollutants have a tendency to move to colder climates like the arctic where they condense, fall to the ground as rain or snow, and become trapped. Toxins accumulate in the insulating fat of Arctic animals, which concentrate at times when animals use their fat reserves. Toxin levels increase as they move up the food chain; so indigenous people are also being exposed through their traditional diets. Again, we southerners have to accept responsibility for this situation.

How you can help
Our goal is to raise $30,000 for World Wildlife Fund-Canada. Any size gift will help our cause. We also need your help spreading the word. You can copy this letter and distribute it to whoever might be interested. Visit our website, and send the web address via email to concerned friends. Make checks out to WWF-Canada and send them to us at Trans-Arctic Canoe Expedition, 9 Garrison Ln., Southborough, MA 01772 and we will forward them. Please write ‘Trans-Arctic’ in the memo line. Thank you so much for your help and attention.

Texts consulted:
World Wildlife Fund-Canada ‘s website:
Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna’s website:
Circumpolar Protected Areas Network (CPAN) Strategy and Action Plan, 1996