Earth to EPA: “End the Threat,” Protect Bristol Bay Now

Broad-based coalition calls on EPA to finalize its recommended Clean Water Act veto of the Pebble Mine.

Sockeye salmon spawning in shallow water


As EPA considers whether to finalize Clean Water Act protections for Bristol Bay, a diverse, bipartisan coalition of groups representing millions of supporters across Alaska and the world ran a full-page ad today in Politico—as well as digital ads online—urging the agency to “End the Threat” to Bristol Bay by issuing a Final Determination under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act and protect the region’s headwaters from the Pebble Mine. 

The ad builds on the momentum of past media campaigns that the Bristol Bay Defense Fund and NRDC ran last FebruaryMarchMayJune and September calling on EPA to veto the Pebble Mine and issue strong and durable protections for Bristol Bay. 

Last December the agency published a Recommended Determination under the Clean Water Act that, if finalized, would protect the region from the continuing threat of the Pebble Mine. EPA is poised to issue a final decision by the end of January. 

To push it over the goal line, 122 local, state, national and international organizations—representing tens of millions of members and supporters—just sent EPA a letter supporting agency action and urging it to expeditiously issue a 404(c) Final Determination. 

The letter reflects an extraordinary agreement among groups from across Alaska, the nation, and the world—spanning an exceptional spectrum of interests—all of which have concluded that timely Clean Water Act protections for Bristol Bay are essential. It amplifies other letters sent to EPA last year during the public comment period. Indeed, last year more than half a million people—including a record number of Alaskans—voiced widespread support for EPA to stop the Pebble Mine and protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay. 

At a time of deep political and social division across the nation, the consensus supporting EPA action to protect Bristol Bay is unmatched. 

That’s because Bristol Bay is an economic and ecological powerhouse that supports a $2.2 billion annual wild salmon commercial fishery, 15,000 jobs, Alaska Native communities, record-breaking salmon runs (more than 78 million last year alone), and over 50 percent of the world’s sockeye salmon!  It’s a sustainable resource the world cannot afford to lose.

There is no place on Earth more deserving of permanent protection than Bristol Bay—and that protection is finally at hand. Now is the time for EPA to “end the threat” of the Pebble Mine by issuing strong and durable Clean Water Act protections for Bristol Bay.

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