Bristol Bay is home to the largest salmon fishery in the world. All five North American pacific salmon species plus rainbow trout and dolly varden use Bristol Bay tributaries near Pebble Mine for spawning. Pebble Mine proposes to extract copper-molybdenum-gold ore from a large deposit in the Bristol Bay watershed of Alaska.
Pebble Mine plans to create a large open pit mine using earthen dam holding ponds. Concentrated mineral slurry from the mine will be piped to a port on Bristol Bay. Mine owners have applied for permits to use roughly 35 billion US gallons per year in operations. The proposed Pebble Mine is in a seismically active area with known fault lines (Alaska-Aleutian megathrust and Castle Mountain-Lake Clark fault system). Accidental discharge from the mine would be released to the watershed and likely cause serious harm to the fisheries.
Dr. Sam Snyder, located in Anchorage, has worked on Alaska conservation issues for many years and is presently with the Wild Salmon Center. Sam’s a great source of information on the latest situation related to Bristol Bay and Pebble Mine.
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