Skip to main content Skip to main content

Pebble Mine Threatens Alaska Fisheries

Pebble Mine Threatens Alaska Fisheries
For the last several years, a Canadian firm has been planning to start work on one of the world's largest open-pit copper mines. Estimated values of extracted ore run into the hundreds of billion of dollars.

Scientists, anglers, and local Alaskan people have realized that this project, which would cover more than 15 square miles of prime watershed in the Alaska's Bristol Bay drainage, poses insurmountable environmental risks. It's estimated that Pebble Mine would produce between 2.5 and 10 billion tons of waste, containing copper, arsenic, and other heavy metals that would threaten the world's greatest remaining salmon-producing waterways. The dam required to hold back the toxic runoff would be the largest such structure in the world.

The site straddles the Kvichak and Nushagak river drainages—two of the most productive salmon rivers—and any release into surface or groundwater is likely to harm Bristol Bay's salmon populations that support commercial fisheries that supply salmon to retail markets continent-wide; key recreational fisheries for salmon, rainbow trout, and other species; and outdoors-people who come to hunt and view wildlife.

Local conservation groups, fishing organizations, concerned scientists, and the American Sportfishing Association have raised the red flag on this project and are trying to get the Environmental Protection Agency to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to protect waters and wetlands from future designation as disposal sites for dredge and fill activity associated with mining operations. For more information, contact Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska, 605/351-1646, sportsmansalliance4AK.org.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the In-Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top In-Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now