I cried when I first learned about polar bears drowning due to the ice floes melting. They are also starving in some places and turning to cannibalism.
The Obama administration said Thursday it is designating more than 200,000 square miles in Alaska and off its coast as "critical habitat" for polar bears, an action that could add restrictions to future offshore drilling for oil and gas.
Federal law prohibits agencies from taking actions that may adversely affect critical habitat and interfere with polar bear recovery.
Assistant Interior Secretary Tom Strickland called the habitat designation a step in the right direction to help polar bears stave off extinction, while recognizing that the greatest threat to the bear is the melting of Arctic sea ice caused by climate change.