Just fifty-five miles across the Bering Strait, Chukotka waters are teeming with marine life: ten whale species, half the world's Pacific walrus, and polar bears. For thousands of years, both walrus and polar bears have been key figures in the material, spiritual, and cultural life of Arctic indigenous peoples. The biggest threat facing walruses and polar bears today is climate change . The loss of snow pack, thinning and disappearing sea ice all reduce their essential habitat. It is estimated that polar bears could be extinct by 2050. The walrus population has been forced to move its haul-outs in recent years from the melting pack ice to coastal areas, where they face food deficits which lead to malnutrition and death. Additionally, high prices on oil, gas, and gold are driving increased resource extraction threatening the livelihood of Arctic indigenous communities and their subsistence resources. The shipping industry is eyeing the Arctic for increased shipping traffic, threatening food resources for coastal communities and endangering Pacific polar bear and walrus habitats.