photo credit and article
Did you know that the British mining giant, Anglo American, and its Canadian partner, Northern Dynasty Minerals, are planning to build one of the world’s largest gold and copper mines – Pebble Mine – in the watershed just above Alaska’s Bristol Bay, an area of exquisite natural beauty that supports prolific salmon runs, a vast array of wildlife, sustainable jobs in fishing and tourism, and where Native communities have lived for thousands of years?
The Bristol Bay Watershed has long been an integral part of the State’s economy and has provided sustainable jobs, subsistence foods and other benefits to Alaskans for generations
The planned mine will have a 2,000-feet-deep, two-mile-long open-pit, and will dump an estimated 9 billion tons of contaminated waste into about 5 dams (some larger than the Three Gorges Dam in China), and all this in an earthquake zone, at the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon run in the world!
The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and Native Alaskans are planning to deliver a Petition of Protest on Earth Day -April 22 – to Anglo American’s annual Shareholders meeting in London, England.
Make no mistake: we can still force Anglo American to abandon the disastrous Pebble Mine scheme. But Anglo American is a $50 billion company — and they will spend whatever it takes to build their dirty mine. We can’t outspend them, but if we unite with local opponents in their courageous stand against the mine, we can rally a national outcry to stop it.
The whole world is watching, and we say STOP the mine! Click this link to sign the NRDC’s Petition of Protest.
The Bristol Bay Alliance is a group of fishermen, business owners and local citizens working to help ensure that the people who depend on Bristol Bay’s natural resources have the most influential voice of any group regarding the future of our land and waters.
What most people don’t know is that the hard-rock mining industry is the single largest source of toxic releases and one of the most destructive industries in America.The proposed Pebble Mine may pose the greatest single threat to this area’s salmon-bearing rivers and the people who depend on them.
An open pit mine could threaten our communities by polluting our clean rivers that provide us with drinking water and plentiful fish. Similar open pit mines have devastated entire watersheds and surrounding fisheries throughout the United States and around the world.
By Kent Garber
Alaska’s Bristol Bay is one of the sites for The Deadliest Catch, the popular reality television show in which courageous fisherman brave the high seas in search of Alaskan crab. Located off the state’s southwestern coast, the waters are home to one of the world’s largest wild salmon runs, and according to experts, produce roughly 40 percent of the nation’s seafood annually.
Bristol Bay has also been prized for another reason: oil. For nearly a quarter century, the region has been caught in a tug-of-war between oil companies and environmentalists, though until 2007 it was protected by a presidential ban on offshore drilling. President George W. Bush revoked the ban, however, and instructed the Interior Department to draw up plans to lease the area to oil and gas developers. Not surprisingly, the move outraged environmentalists, prompted lawsuits from several Alaskan coastal communities, and has become a major symbol of the fraught politics of offshore drilling.President Obama waded into the debate last week when he announced his new strategy for offshore drilling. Most of the early news reports characterized it as a major boon to developers. But Obama’s proposal was also restrictive. In particular, it took Bristol Bay off the table. Had Obama not acted, developers could have been bidding on leases in the region as early as next year.