Bristol Bay is home to one of the most prolific salmon runs in the world. This year alone, just under 80 million sockeye salmon entered the Bristol Bay region, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which topped the 2021 record run of nearly 15 million fish! While some other fisheries are not as amazing as Bristol Bay, it is very clear how special Bristol Bay is, and we haven’t even discussed the bears, massive rainbow trout and other wildlife species that thrive in this wild and pristine. The region.
However, as I’m almost sure you know by now, the region has been under threat from a potential massive pebble mine extracting more than 6 billion tons of ore and forever changing the watershed. Today, permanent protections for Bristol Bay, through Clean Water Act authorities, are close to being restored. The $2.2 billion fishing economy, sustainable fisheries that support indigenous populations, and world-class outdoor recreation opportunities are more than deserving of protection as they provide Alaskans with long-term economic opportunities rather than a short-term boom with high uncertainties.
So, one last time, stand up for Bristol Bay and tell the EPA and politicians that you support restoring Clean Water Act protections to this world-class watershed. The deadline to submit comments to the EPA is Tuesday, September 6. Take action today!
Photos by Ben Shay
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