Bristol Bay Thanks EPA

Thank You Ads Run in DC and Alaska

A broad, bipartisan coalition is running ads thanking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for restarting the process to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay and stop the Pebble Mine.

The ads appear this week in the DC edition of the New York Times and in The Anchorage Daily News, following EPA’s announcement last week that it would resume the process to restore protections for Bristol Bay. The ads are paid for by the Bristol Bay Defense Fund—a coalition of local, state, national and international groups representing Bristol Bay Tribes, commercial fishermen, sportsmen, businesses, and conservation organizations (including NRDC).

EPA’s announcement signaled its intent to invoke Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to protect Bristol Bay. The agency stressed the importance of protecting this national treasure, describing Bristol Bay as “essential to commercial, subsistence, and recreational fisheries and other activities that support Alaska Natives and communities in the state.”

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan elaborated:

The Bristol Bay Watershed is an Alaskan treasure that underscores the critical value of clean water in America. Today’s announcement reinforces once again EPA’s commitment to making science-based decisions to protect our natural environment. What’s at stake is preventing pollution that would disproportionately impact Alaska Natives, and protecting a sustainable future for the most productive salmon fishery in North America.

Bristol Bay is home to the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery, which generates $2.2 billion annually, supports 15,000 jobs, supplies 57% of the world’s sockeye salmon, and sustains indigenous communities and cultures.

It is essential to the livelihood and the community well-being of many Alaskan tribes, said Radhika Fox, Head of EPA’s Office of Water. 

EPA’s decision to protect Bristol Bay is based on science, reason, and the rule of law. 

NRDC extends our sincere thanks to EPA and urges the agency to work expeditiously to issue permanent protections for Bristol Bay.

About the Authors

Taryn Kiekow Heimer

Deputy Director, Marine Mammal Protection Project, Nature Program

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