They danced outside the Miami-Dade County Cultural Plaza during the International Storytelling Festival, gathered petition signatures and passed out "Chill the Drills" postcards. The message to President Obama: Protect the Polar Bear Seas from dangerous oil drilling.
The event comes as Royal Dutch Shell pushes forward with plans to start drilling this summer in the Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas—home to the entire U.S. population of polar bears.
This is one of the most unique marine ecosystems in the world, but this habitat is shrinking and melting. Arctic summer sea ice could disappear by 2030 and experts believe the polar bear may be extinct by 2050. Any new industrial development in these waters would only add to the effects of climate change already causing stress on Arctic wildlife.
The Polar Bear Dance Party is part of a national campaign by Sierra Club, Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity and Endangered Species Coalition.
The event got the attention of the AP news service, which advanced the story in more than 200 news outlets nationwide and also, internationally, in the Himalayan Times.
To get involved, go to the "Chill the Drills" website. Let the world know you want permanent protection for the Polar Bear Seas from dangerous drilling!
See the Miami Polar Bear Dance video here:
-- Jonathan Ullman, Sierra Club South Florida/Everglades Senior Representative