Bristol Bay organizations have launched legal action against moves by the Trump administration’s to remove Clean Water Act science-based protections.
The protections were put in place to safeguard against salmon-bearing streams becoming contaminated or polluted.
By removing those protections, the administration not only broke the law, it made clear that local people will have no voice in the management of our rivers, streams, and wetlands, the Bristol Bay organizations said in a statement.
The Bristol Bay Defense Alliance, including the Bristol Bay Native Association, United Tribes of Bristol Bay, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, Bristol Bay Reserve Association and Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, is taking legal action on behalf of the residents and fishermen who rely on the Bristol Bay fishery and all it sustains.
The proposed Clean Water Act protections were first requested by six Bristol Bay Tribes in 2010, and were backed by commercial and sport fishing groups.
"The people of Bristol Bay have worked collectively for generations to protect our land and our fisheries, whether it was from fish traps, over fishing, and now even projects like the Pebble Mine," a statement on behalf of the groups read.
"We will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect the waters and wild salmon that sustain the economy, commercial and sport fisheries, and traditional way of life in Bristol Bay."