The Bristol Bay watershed is an area of importance for Alaska’s wildlife. In recent months there has been controversy over an enormous open pit mine, called the Pebble Project.
The area in question is in fact one of the worlds biggest spawning grounds for wild salmon. As many as 40 million fish can be found there in a season. The area is beautiful and pristine and has largely been untouched. However this may change. A Canadian company by the name of Northern Dynasty Ltd, reports finding one of the Worlds largest mineral deposits of gold, copper and molybdenum. They are planning to build a large open pit known as the pebble project, it would be 2 miles across and 2000 feet deep.
There are fears that the project would severely harm the fisheries. The group called Renewable Resources Coalition is opposed and is lobbying the government to stop the project. The group is currently organizing a fundraising ball this November.
The Pebble partnership states that it is working with the local communities and environmental groups to protect the areas wildlife. There’s no question though that it will indeed create wealth and jobs for the State of Alaska.
This debate has been featured in National as well as local newspapers and will surely continue. The Bristol bay area produces 30% of the wild salmon and is valued at $216 million. However the mine has an estimated value of $300 billion.
On a final note though, it is worth pointing out that wild salmon is a renewable resource.
For more from both sides visit their websites