Bristol Bay Advocates Lobby in D.C. to Stop Pebble Mine

Fly-in meetings and paid media urge the EPA to veto Pebble Mine and permanently protect Bristol Bay. 

Bristol Bay Tribal representatives, commercial fishermen, sportsmen, chefs, and conservation groups—including NRDC—are in Washington, D.C. this week calling on permanent protection for Bristol Bay, Alaska. Advocates will be meeting with the Biden Administration and Members of Congress urging them to protect Bristol Bay from the ongoing threat of the Pebble Mine. 

 In connection with the fly-in, groups are launching a new print, digital, social, TV, mobile billboard, and outdoor postering media campaign in Washington, D.C. This week, full-page print ads are running in The Hill, Politico, and New York Times; TV ads on CNN; digital ads online; and postering and mobile billboards around D.C. 

The posters and ads state: “Be a Hero for Bristol Bay. EPA, Veto Pebble Mine.”  

Building on the momentum of the media campaigns that the Bristol Bay Defense Fund and NRDC launched in February and March, the new ads echo the call for EPA to veto the Pebble Mine—a giant gold and copper mine proposed at the headwaters of the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery in Bristol Bay.   

Bristol Bay is the most valuable wild salmon fishery in the world: it supplies 57% of the world’s wild sockeye salmon, generates $2.2 billion in annual economic activity, supports 15,000 American jobs, and sustains Indigenous communities in Alaska for millennia. This summer, a record-breaking 73.4 million sockeye salmon are predicted to return to Bristol Bay!   

Yet the Pebble Mine—and its more than 10 billion tons of toxic mining waste—would destroy it all.   

Although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied Pebble’s permit in 2020, mine proponents continue to appeal that decision—and contemptuously plan a business as usual work program on site this summer.   

EPA has the power to stop this madness for good. Under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, EPA has the authority to veto the Pebble Mine and permanently protect Bristol Bay.     

EPA is considering it. The agency will announce later this month whether it recommends 404(c) Clean Water Act protections for Bristol Bay. If EPA finalizes a 404(c) determination, it will provide long-term protection for waters that are essential to subsistence, commercial and recreational fishing—as well as Indigenous communities.   

Joined by NRDC for more than a dozen years, this is a decades-long fight led by Alaska Native Tribes, communities, and commercial fishermen to save their lives, livelihoods, and lands from destruction from a foreign mining company. And it is a fight we must win. Add your voice here.  

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