Bristol Bay is home to one of the most prolific salmon runs in the world. Just this year, Just under 80 million sockeye salmon entered the Bristol Bay region, according to Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game, which blew the 2021 record run out of the water by nearly 15 million fish! While some other fisheries aren’t doing as amazing as Bristol Bay sockeye, it’s pretty clear just 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 region.
Yet, as I’m almost certain you know by now, the region has been under threat by the would-be massive Pebble Mine extracting more than 6 billion tons of ore and forever altering 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 is more than deserving of protections, as it provides 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 reinstating Clean Water Act protections for this world-class watershed. The final deadline to submit comment to the EPA is Tuesday, September 6th. Take action today!
Photos by Ben Shay