Tell policy makers that you want permanent protection for Bristol Bay – sign our open letter.
National Treasure at Risk: Protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay from Offshore Drilling
In the 1970s the U.S. Department of the Interior opened the door for offshore oil and gas drilling in Bristol Bay. Ever since then, communities, the fishing industry, conservation groups and, until recently, the State of Alaska, have resisted. Bristol Bay and the southeast Bering Sea equal 40% of the U.S. fishery production, including the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon run. It is biologically rich in migratory birds and marine mammals. It features extensive coastal wetlands vulnerable to oil contamination. The resources carefully managed will continue to be the cultural and economic mainstay of southwest Alaska.
AMCC’s new report, 'National Treasure at Risk: Protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay from Offshore Drilling,' details the history from the federal government leasing the area to a group of eight oil companies in the 1980s, then buying the leases back in the 1990s, and re-opening the same area again in 2007. Today the region is once again off the leasing schedule but only until 2017. The report describes resources at risk and concludes with a call to our nation's policy makers: After 35 years of resistance to offshore drilling, the time has come to secure permanent protection for Bristol Bay and the southeast Bering Sea, ensuring that this economic, ecological and cultural treasure remains healthy and intact for generations to come.
AMCC is working in a coalition of community organizations, fishing industry representatives and conservation groups.