As those who have tirelessly worked to protect Bristol Bay from projects such as the Pebble Mine – last month’s Environmental Protection Agency decision all but, for now, killed the operation – can breathe a sigh of relief, a blog from Trout Unlimited reminds that’s there still work to do.
Here’s more from TU’s Bristol Bay program manager Meghan Barker:
Bottom line, Bristol Bay is not safe until watershed-wide safeguards are put in place that ensure fish and communities are prioritized and maintained as they have been for generations. We cheer every single roadblock issued that makes Pebble less and less likely of becoming a reality. But we don’t let our guard down. It’s been called the project “that rises like a zombie.” And we don’t want to give them any opportunity to get their foot further in the door.
The people of Bristol Bay deserve a future that is self-determined, sustainable and allows them to continue traditions as they have for generations. The overwhelming majority of people have been clear that Pebble is not included in that future. We cheer the progress made that has only happened because of people speaking up for Bristol Bay, but that work is far from over, and we look forward to continuing to push for the ultimate protections that we know this place deserves.
In 2023, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers finalized a new regulatory definition of “Waters of the United States,” which defines which waters and streams are protected by the Clean Water Act. This new definition includes wetlands and small streams that play a critical role in the health of fish habitat and downstream waters. Join Trout Unlimited in defending this definition, which is currently under attack in Congress and the courts.