An assessment by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds that Alaska’s Bristol Bay is at risk from a proposed mining project, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The bay is home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.
The report finds that impacts from mining will likely have adverse effects on the two largest rivers near Bristol Bay, the Nushagak and Kvichak rivers, which help support salmon trade. Possible threats to the bay include substantial losses of streams, wetlands and salmon spawning grounds, as well as leaks or spills of mining wastewater.
The EPA report notes that the river system near Bristol Bay is vital to the salmon fishery, which has an estimated annual economic impact near $500 million.
Image: Commercial fishing on Bristol Bay (Credit: echoforsberg, via Flickr)