Alaskan Copper Mine Could Destroy the World’s Largest Wild Salmon Run

The Pebble Mine will destroy the largest wild sockeye salmon run in the world

A giant copper and gold mine proposed for Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed could devastate thousands of acres of wetlands and the world’s largest wild salmon run, the Environmental Protection Agency says in a final assessment.

Bristol Bay is the large, wildlife-rich bay north of the Aleutian Islands archipelago.

The scientific  study, released Wednesday, concluded that the Pebble Mine project would demolish up to 94 miles of streams, including salmon spawning habitat; destroy more than 5,000 acres of wetlands and lakes; harm the traditional salmon-based culture of 25 federally recognized tribes; and threaten the bay’s $480 million salmon industry, the National Resources Defense Council said in a statement.

“This is a scientific indictment of the Pebble Mine – or any other large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed,” said Joel Reynolds, western director of the NRDC. “The assessment documents what we’ve feared for years – Pebble Mine would destroy the world-class wild salmon fishery, cost jobs and endanger the communities and wildlife that depend on it.”

Bristol Bay, the easternmost arm of the Bering Sea, is 250 miles long and 180 miles wide at its mouth. Several rivers flow into it, including the Nushagak and Kvichak, which are rich in mineral resources, including copper and gold. The bay attracts sport and subsistence fishers and hunters, wildlife viewers and general tourism.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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