Alaskan Pebble Mines

The Trump appointed director of the EPA Scott Pruitt overturned the Obama-era environmental regulations protecting one of the largest salmon fisheries in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. The Obama administration set a precedent through the Clean Water Act which specifically protected this region of Alaska; this environmental regulation protects the area from the Pebble Mines that dig for metals like copper and gold. These mines could create devastating effects on the river ecosystem in which the salmon spawn. These destructive mines could be eroding the steam banks causing high sediment to infect and subsequently ruin the salmon breeding grounds. This mine drainage can also lead to the acidification of local rivers and can both kill the salmon before they reach the breeding grounds and kill the salmon fry once hatched.
It is ridiculous that mining companies are willing to sacrifice the livelihood of local salmon populations in order to make money, especially since the salmon stock already supports 14,000 jobs in the Bristol Bay area. These money hungry mining conglomerates simply want easy access to minerals, even when it causes major damage to the salmon population and the surrounding ecosystem. There would be no cost-effective way in extracting gold and copper because regardless, the environment, both on land and in the bay, will be irreversibly damaged. Sockeye salmon is a majorly consumed fish by many Americans and provides employment in the fishing sector, which is exactly why large mining companies should be considering the costs of destroying the fish’s habitat. Rather than focusing on obtaining monetary compensation through extracting natural resources such as copper and gold, we should be striving for a clean, healthy environment to sustain all life.

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