Press Release: President Biden, EPA Secures Southwest Alaska’s Salmon Future


January 31, 2023

Aileo Weinmann | 202-538-5038 | 

President Biden, EPA Secures Southwest Alaska’s Salmon Future

The final action – nearly two decades in the making – prioritizes salmon over mining.

Washington, D.C. –  Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final decision prohibiting the construction of the massive Pebble mine in the world-famous headwaters of Alaska’s Bristol Bay.  This action finalizes strong protections for the clean waters that sustain the world’s largest sockeye salmon run. It secures the ways of life, traditions, and salmon-centered sustainable economy that helps define Southwest Alaska.

For nearly two decades, the threat of the Pebble mine has cast a shadow on a region that has relied on sustainable salmon harvests for generations. Protections were sought by area residents, along with a large coalition of Tribes, businesses, and conservation groups. The Biden administration showed up for Bristol Bay on day one, listening to voices calling for protections and thoughtfully reviewing the project.  As a result of this action, a large area of Alaska that was threatened has now earned protections.

For more information, visit the EPA’s Final Determination for Pebble Deposit Area.

Statement by Andy Moderow, Alaska State Director, Alaska Wilderness League:

“The decades long fight to protect Bristol Bay from Pebble Mine has now come to a close, and we applaud President Biden’s choice to prioritize people and salmon over short term corporate profits,” said Andy Moderow, Alaska state director of Alaska Wilderness League.  “Alaska’s salmon are not only globally significant, but they also provide for residents of the region in so many ways. Today, we celebrate action that helps secures a sustainable economy and ongoing traditions for generations to come.”