MFCN Applauds EPA Proposal to Protect Bristol Bay from Harmful Mining

Clean Water Act Could Conserve World’s Largest Sockeye Salmon Run

CONTACT: Jo Knight,

Arlington, VA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a revised proposed determination under the Clean Water Act Section 404(c) to prohibit and restrict the use of certain waters in the Bristol Bay watershed as disposal sites for waste from the Pebble deposit. If finalized after a process that includes a public review and comment period, habitat for the world’s largest sockeye salmon run would have the strongest level of protection from pollution under current federal law. 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’s release of a proposed determination to prohibit and restrict mining waste from destroying Bristol Bay’s invaluable and pristine natural habitat, which is home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. Bristol Bay and its connected waters support sustainable fishing businesses, individual livelihoods, unparalleled sport fishing opportunities, and millennia-old Native Alaskan traditions that are part of the cultural and social fabric of this region. After years of widespread industry, environmental, Tribal, recreational, and local opposition to the Pebble Mine project, we’re grateful the Biden administration has taken this necessary step to implement the strongest protections available under current federal law to conserve the region’s robust natural resources upon which so many depend.”


Note to Media: As part of its online discussion series, Waterside Chat, the Marine Fish Conservation Network today hosted Sam Snyder of the Wild Salmon Center and Scott Hed with Businesses for Bristol Bay for a discussion about Bristol Bay, including today’s EPA announcement about the proposed determination to prohibit mining waste discharge or disposal in Bristol Bay. To view the replay of this discussion, visit the Waterside Chat homepage or watch it on YouTube.

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.