Bristol Bay Update – And How YOU Can Help!
As outlined in a previous blog, Bristol Bay, Alaska is under threat by the development of a proposed gold, copper and molybdenum mine (known as Pebble Mine), which would become the largest open-pit mine in North America. Bristol Bay Native tribes, fishermen, seafood processors, chefs, and other Bristol Bay stakeholders who are concerned about the risks that Pebble poses to Bristol Bay’s salmon went to the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011, asking that the EPA use its authority under the Clean Water Act to keep harmful mining activities out of the Bristol Bay watershed.
In response to this request, the EPA initiated a watershed assessment of Bristol Bay in February 2011, the results of which will be revealed any day now. The release of the assessment will be followed by a public comment period and a final watershed assessment is expected to come out this November. At this point, the EPA will be in a position to decide whether or not to use its authority under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to veto any potential dredge and fill permits that the Pebble Partnership would need to move its proposal forward.
We will keep you updated as to what action you can take once the EPA releases its watershed assessment, but in the meantime, there is a lot you can do to help:
1. Sign the national petition to President Obama — at www.savebristolbay.org (the Obama Administration needs to hear from anyone who eats/values wild salmon)
2. Send a letter to your US Senators and Representatives, asking them to support the EPA’s watershed assessment and authority under the Clean Water Act.
4. Vote with your fork and eat Bristol Bay salmon!
Finally, if you are in the Monterey Bay region, there is a showing this coming Tuesday (22nd May) of Red Gold, a fantastic documentary which highlights the beauty and overall importance of Bristol Bay and why we need to save it. The event will be at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and promises to be a great night – we hope to see you there!