News Release

Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay

Today the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) submitted its appeal of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Clean Water Act dredge and fill permit denial. Their appeal once again brings into question the future of the Bristol Bay region and casts a threat over Bristol Bay’s wild salmon fishery - the largest and most valuable in the world.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced in late November 2020 that it had determined that the Pebble Mine plan “does not comply with Clean Water Act guidelines," and it concluded that "the proposed project is contrary to the public interest." Their decision to deny the Pebble Mine’s Clean Water Act permit was met with widespread, bi-partisan support from Bristol Bay’s Tribes, fishermen, Alaska U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and thousands of salmon lovers across the nation. A reversal of this permit denial would put Bristol Bay and the world’s largest salmon fishery back in peril.

Since a permit denial would not permanently protect Bristol Bay, last month Alaska’s fishermen voiced their support for a “Call to Protect Bristol Bay” - a plan put forth by residents and leaders of the Bristol Bay region that lays out their vision for permanent protections of Bristol Bay’s pristine salmon waters. Their vision includes the Environmental Protection Agency using its authority under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to veto the Pebble Mine, and secondly asks Congress to cement those Clean Water Act protections through legislative action, banning any toxic mine waste from large-scale mining projects into Bristol Bay’s sensitive and irreplaceable rivers, lakes and wetlands.

“It is clear that until the Environmental Protection Agency reestablishes Clean Water Act protections for Bristol Bay, this region and the world-class fishery it supports will not be safe from the Pebble Mine. Bristol Bay’s fishermen have been fighting to save our livelihoods and this incredible source of sustainable wild seafood for more than a decade,” said Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay Director Katherine Carscallen. “We simply cannot keep living with this threat and uncertainty hanging over us. The Pebble Partnership has shown that they refuse to follow the will of the people of Bristol Bay and will not walk away. Alaska’s fishermen call on President Biden, his administration, and Congress to give Bristol Bay’s fishermen and residents the certainty and security we’ve been seeking for years by enacting permanent protections which will ensure that Bristol Bay’s salmon fishery and way of life are never again imperiled by the Pebble Mine.”

About Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay

Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay is a national coalition of fishermen working to protect Bristol Bay, Alaska and the 14,000 jobs, $500 million in annual income, and $1.5 billion in economic activity that Bristol Bay’s wild salmon provide.

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