Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has called for a limit on tourism in Antarctica and stricter pollution limits for ships in the region as a means to protect visitors and the region’s environment. Her remarks on 6 April 2009 at a joint session of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and the Arctic Council highlighted the value of scientific research, especially on climate change, at the Earth’s poles. Antarctica “is a land where science is the universal language and the highest priority,” Clinton said. “We also must push forward with research. There is still a lot more to learn about the polar regions.”
Clinton announced that the United States would be pursue mandatory limits on the size of cruise ships and the number of tourists allowed on shore. The Obama Administration is concerned with the environmental impacts of the booming tourism industry in Antarctica. Over 45,000 people visited the region in 2008-2009, a 575 percent increase from five years ago.
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