Steven discusses the potentially catastrophic effects of the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay.
• At stake is an ecosystem that supports the finest wild salmon habitat on Earth. Each year, returning salmon transport millions of tons of nutrients from the rich marine environment to the nutrient-poor watersheds of the Pacific Rim, increasing production at all levels – from bacteria to brown bears.
• Strong runs of wild salmon are the biological and economic backbone of the Bristol Bay region, a place of internationally recognized importance for fish, wildlife and sportsmen. If the salmon are lost, so are the region’s abundant wildlife populations and commercial, subsistence and recreational fishing opportunities.
• The proposed Pebble Mine would threaten the world’s most productive salmon habitat and consequently the world-class hunting and $500 million commercial and sport fishery.
• Once constructed, the dam and 10-square-mile-wide containment pond could hold up to 10 billion tons of waste produced by the Pebble Mine – nearly enough to bury the city of Seattle. Due to the acid-generating nature of the mine’s ore body, the waste would require perpetual and intensive treatment to safeguard the region and its fish and wildlife.
Season 1: Episode 5