Stopping Pebble Mine and Saving Alaska’s Wild Salmon
Pebble Mine was proposed as an open-pit mine to extract gold and copper. A project that would require dredging up and filling an area in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska — the setting for enormous salmon runs that produce tens of millions of wild sockeye salmon each year, making Bristol Bay home to the largest wild salmon harvest in the world. These salmon are the bedrock of the local economy, supporting a billion-dollar fishing industry and thousands of jobs, and play a crucial role in the livelihoods of Alaska Native tribes, serving as a primary food source.
On top of wiping out nearly 100 miles of salmon streams, Pebble Mine was expected to generate 10 billion tons of dangerous waste and pollute 5,000 acres of waterways. Secret recordings also revealed company executives contradicting official figures they had submitted for approval, showing that corruption ran deep within this project.
Time and time again, industry gets away with projects like Pebble Mine. Projects that sacrifice local ecosystems, economies, and the voices of Indigenous peoples without the bat of an eye. But this time, local people and environmental activists stopped industry.
A years-long battle over a proposed mine in Alaska ended when a coalition that included Friends of the Earth successfully pushed the US Army Corps of Engineers to deny Pebble Mine a permit to operate in Bristol Bay, killing the project!
This rejection would not have come about without grassroots activists speaking up and take action. Each time the mine threatened to move forward, the environmental justice community flew into action. Friends of the Earth members sent petitions to the US Army Corps of Engineers five separate times — with more than 80,500 of our members calling on various federal agencies to stop this industrial mine. And we emerged victorious.
Stopping Pebble Mine is a massive win for grassroots activists, Indigenous communities, and Alaskan wildlife and ecosystems! This is another notch in the belt of environmental justice, showing the collective power of our voices.