The Pebble Mine—proposed at the headwaters of the planet’s greatest wild salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, Alaska—threatens the communities and ecosystems that depend on the bay’s abundant wildlife. It’s also a terrible investment, pitting an eternal supply of food against and eternal supply of poison.
The Bristol Bay watershed is one of America’s last great wild places, home to bears, eagles, and wolves. It provides half the world’s wild sockeye salmon, supports 14,000 jobs, and generates $1.5 billion in economic activity every year. But if this gold and copper mine gets built, it will poison the bay’s headwaters with up to 10 billion tons of mining waste that will have to be stored—forever—in a wet and seismically active region. And that risk has grown since now former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt cut a backroom deal with Northern Dynasty Mineral Ltd., the Canadian company behind the toxic Pebble Mine project, throwing a lifeline to company and emboldening it to apply for permits and seek new investors.
NRDC is calling on the Trump administration in affirming that the Pebble Mine has no place in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Backlash from businesses, fishing communities, and indigenous groups is growing, and major investors—including Mitsubishi, Anglo American, and Rio Tinto, three of the world’s largest mining companies—have already abandoned this risky project. But with new support from another Canadian company, First Quantum Minerals, Northern Dynasty has moved a step closer to turning this Alaskan wilderness into a toxic wasteland.
For millennia, Alaska’s Bristol Bay has provided for us. It’s an ecological treasure—and it deserves our protection.