MFCN Applauds Administration for Protecting Bristol Bay Watershed

Clean Water Act Decision Safeguards Habitat for the World’s Largest Sockeye Salmon Run

CONTACT: Jo Knight,

Arlington, VA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued a Clean Water Act section 404(c) Final Determination to prohibit and restrict the use of certain waters in the Bristol Bay watershed as disposal sites for mining waste. The following statement is from Robert C. Vandermark, executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network.

“The Marine Fish Conservation Network applauds the U.S. EPA for issuing a Clean Water Act section 404(c) Final Determination to prohibit and restrict mining waste from destroying Bristol Bay’s invaluable, pristine watershed. This decision provides the strongest level of habitat protection currently available for the largest sockeye salmon run in the world. A record breaking 80 million sockeye salmon returned to Bristol Bay and its surrounding waters last year, supporting the traditions and livelihoods of thousands of people in the region, and feeding millions of people worldwide. The Network stands with Alaska Native Tribes and residents, local commercial and recreational fishermen, conservation groups, outdoor recreators, chefs, local businesses, and countless others who depend every day on a healthy and thriving Bristol Bay. After years of widespread opposition to this project, we’re grateful that the Biden administration has taken this significant step toward protecting the ecological integrity of this region for generations to come.”


The Marine Fish Conservation Network is a coalition of commercial and recreational fishing associations, regional and national conservation groups, aquaria, and marine science organizations committed to sustaining fish populations, healthy marine ecosystems, and robust fishing communities.