This video and post come from one of our partners, Sarah Schumann, a Rhode Island fisherman who has worked in Bristol Bay salmon canneries for the past six summers. Sarah also runs Eating with the Ecosystem, an educational event-based organization that promotes a place-based approach to sustainable seafood in New England.
Last month's release of the EPA document that lays the scientific groundwork for making a decision on protecting Bristol Bay's salmon fishery is great news(Save Bristol Bay has a good summary of the report on their site.). The fact that the EPA is even considering putting the area off-limits to mining to save the fishery is a testament to the great things that fishermen can accomplish when they work together on a nationwide basis!
But, this is just one step - there is no formal protection in place until the EPA takes the NEXT step - to use their Clean Water Act authority to deny a mining permit. And they won't make that decision until we force them to do that. So, the next few months are CRITICAL to urging the EPA to protect Bristol Bay.
Can I ask those on this list to help me continue to spread the word here in New England?
- Now is a great time to get letters to the editor in to our local papers, celebrating the release of the EPA assessment and calling on them to take action to protect Bristol Bay. I am putting together a few letters written from the point of few of commercial fishermen, but would like to ask for volunteers to submit them to your local papers. Contact me if you could do this. Chances are it won't get published anyway due to high traffic, but if you CC your senator when you submit it, then it will still have an impact!
- Second, I am doing some traveling to spread the word and share the wonderful documentary Red Gold. Are you interested in showing it at a venue in your locale? Please let me know -- I will come to you with DVD in hand! Happy to do a screening for your organization, your friends, your family...it's worth a watch.
- I'm also looking for people in Maine and Massachusetts who have fished in Alaska, for a small video project like the one above.
- if you know anyone who lives in one of these states and has a connection to Alaska fisheries (Bristol Bay or otherwise), please put them in touch with me!
Thank you for your support. I also thought you might be interested in:
- I recently teamed with Laura Orleans from Working Waterfront Festival and Brett Veerhusen, Alaska fisherman and organizer with Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay, to do a radio show, The Point, on WCAI Cape and Islands, discussing the Pebble Mine and the urgency of protecting Bristol Bay. Podcast available here.