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Bristol Bay has it all — breathtaking natural beauty, an abundance of wildlife and some of the world's largest populations of salmon. But a recent move by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could put the entire bay in serious jeopardy.
A Canadian company has proposed the construction of a gold and copper mine in this sensitive ecosystem that would require the construction of a 100-mile road straight across valuable wilderness habitat, divert nearly 35 billion gallons of water a year from rivers that are crucial to salmon populations and expose endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales to an increased risk of ship strikes as massive vessels move in an out of the Cook Inlet to service the mine.
Over 1.5 million Americans supported a 2014 EPA decision to protect Bristol Bay under the Clean Water Act, but now the EPA is seeking to remove this hard-won protection.
This is just one more example of how the anti-wildlife Trump administration is turning a blind eye to the health and welfare of America's wildlife and wild places.
Speak out now and help protect Bristol Bay!
Dear Administrator Pruitt,
I am writing as a Defender of Wildlife and a concerned citizen regarding the decision on July 14th by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to eliminate its 2014 protection of Bristol Bay under the Clean Water Act. This decision will make it easier for the proposed Pebble Mine to proceed, but I forcefully reject the idea that we should allow a foreign mining company to build a massive open-pit mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska near some of our nation's most precious waters.
Every year, tens of millions of wild salmon return to Bristol Bay, supporting 14,000 American jobs, over $90 million in recreation and tourism revenue and an incredible variety of wildlife ranging from Pacific walrus to brown bears.
The protection of Bristol Bay was supported by over a million Americans and erasing these protections represents a huge shift in the agency's approach to protecting the nation's clean waters and the important species like salmon found in them. This change in course reflects a pro-industry administration turning a blind eye to the future of Bristol Bay and our nation's valuable salmon fisheries.
In addition to jeopardizing Bristol Bay and a world class salmon run, the development of Pebble Mine would include a large jetty into Cook Inlet, a key habitat for endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales.
The Environmental Protection Agency has already determined that the mine will have "adverse effects" on the Bristol Bay region, and we should not go back on the agency's determination now.
Please respect the American people's overwhelming desire to protect salmon, its habitat and species like Cook Inlet belugas and do everything you can to shield them from the impacts of a large mine.