The battle to protect Bristol Bay is not over. The EPA extended the public comment period through Tuesday, September 6th. NOW, more than ever, is the time for concerned citizens to make their voices heard. As anglers who care about the future of fisheries, it is critical that we participate to set precedent in the world of conservation. This is the largest Sockeye Salmon fishery on earth, and we must fight to keep it that way.

The “Proposed Determination” by the EPA is essentially a move to prohibit mining companies from dumping materials from the infamous Pebble Mine into critical portions of the watershed. When the comment period ends the local EPA region office will decide whether or not they should forward the determination to EPA Headquarters. If so, EPA headquarters will review the matter and either accept, deny, or modify the proposal. 

The fight to protect Bristol Bay is certainly not new. In 2020 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the Pebble Mine, stating it would cause “unavoidable adverse impacts to water and marine life.” The mine’s developer, Pebble Limited Partnership, is currently appealing this decision. 

At the time, we thought the fight was won, however, the PLP will not go down quietly. Along with the appeal, they are also pushing for comments in their favor. The fact is, not only do we need more comments than the opposition, but we need enough to fully convince the EPA the fight is worth it. 

To call Bristol Bay unique is an understatement. The fishery is one of a kind, and its downfall would open the door to cataclysmic results throughout the world of conservation. It is no secret that the lands and waters we love are under constant threat, so it’s up to us to protect them.

To make your voice heard, head to Save Bristol Bay and submit your comment. It takes no more than a few minutes, and it’s well worth the time. When the period ends on the 6th, so does our opportunity to speak.

Join the rest of us here at onWater, to make it count while we can.