Mining, in general, is hugely important to Alaska in terms of jobs and income. But then so is fishing - particularly around Bristol Bay. And the fishery relies on the health and cleanliness the streams, lakes, rivers and marine ecosystem. The pristine nature of the landscape around Bristol Bay is often cited as one of the main reasons why this remains the world's last great salmon run, in contrast to the pollution and degradation of the once-great salmon rivers further south.
discovery of what the mining developers are calling "one of the world's
most important mineral discoveries" within the Bristol Bay catchment
has created a fierce division within local communities.
Many families that depend on fishing fear that the enormous proposed mining project and others that might follow it will inevitably lead to pollution of the waters - it's only a matter of time. Whereas others believe that Pebble Mine would bring badly needed jobs and money into the area. You can explore the different points of view through the following links and many more that you can find on the web.