You may remember Save Bristol Bay from Farm's participation last year in a "Vote with Your Fork!" campaign designed to show support of Alaska's Bristol Bay salmon fisheries the most delicious way possible. But now, as concerned parties struggle to stop a proposed pit mine — Pebble Mine — from being built on top of a priceless network of streams used by the world's largest and most valuable population of sockeye salmon, a new kind of action is needed.
Below is a letter, drafted by Slow Food USA that you can send to the EPA here. Bristol Bay salmon is a $1.5 billion a year industry, supporting 14,000 full- and part-time jobs occupying nearly 5,000 acres of streams and wetlands.
If you want to protect a valuable, sustainable food resource, preserve Bristol Bay's environment and protect the livelihoods of those who rely on this resource, personalize the letter below and send it to the EPA here.
I write regarding the Bristol Bay fishery. Slow Food USA, a national, not-for-profit, membership organization with more than 200,000 supporters, is dedicated to a good, clean, and fair food system. We support regional food economies and those engaged in sustainable food production.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bristol Bay supports approximately 46% of the global abundance of sockeye salmon with an annual inshore run of more than 23 million fish. Local fishers, holding more than 1,200 commercial fishing licenses, land more than 250 million pounds of seafood from the fishery. The recent Watershed Assessment makes it clear that the world’s largest and most valuable wild sockeye salmon fishery is endangered by the proposed Pebble mining operation.
The assessment documents that mining the Pebble deposit will destroy up to 87 miles of salmon streams and up to 4,800 acres of wetlands that salmon depend on for survival. The Bristol Bay salmon fishery provides employment to 14,000 full and part-time workers. According to recent reports from the University of Alaska, the value of the Bristol Bay wild sockeye salmon fishery exceeds $1.5 billion annually. If we protect this resource, Bristol Bay will generate this value for the generations to come. If the Pebble mine is allowed to move forward, the bounty of the fishery and many jobs will be impacted negatively, all for short-sighted, near-term benefit that pales in comparison to the benefit of a healthy, intact ecosystem that can support a high-value economy well into the future. Only the EPA and the Obama administration can protect the habitat that keeps this fishery viable.
I urge that, under the Clean Water Act, the Bristol Bay fishery, a $1.5 billion dollar industry and a traditional way of life for thousands of Alaskans, be protected.