With Celebrity Comes Responsibility
A storm is brewing in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Powerful interests seem to be gathering to allow the world’s largest open-pit mine to be built in the world’s largest salmon nursery.
Alaska’s attorney general Michael Geraghty is fighting the release of an US Environmental Protection Agency study due out next week. This assessment followed requests from nine tribes, two commercial fishing organizations, the Bristol Bay Native Corp. and others to initiate a Clean Water Act process that would prohibit or restrict discharges of metallic sulfide mining in the Bristol Bay headwaters. Geraghty said EPA lacked authority to conduct the survey, and the state would explore "all available legal options". Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell also asked the EPA not to take action, and Ken Taylor, former Gov. Sarah Palin’s point man in her argument that global warming did not threaten polar bears, has become environmental vice president for the Pebble Mine Partnership. Stakes are high; the value of the mine is estimated to be as much as $400 billion.
Anglo American, the London-based multinational powerhouse behind Pebble Mine, says it can extract the minerals safely. It proposes to build earthen walls the size of Hoover Dam to contain a lake of toxic residue in a seismically active area, storing billions of tons of mining waste forever. “In the short or the long run, it will have a disastrous effect,” said Lance Trasky, who monitored the project until he retired as a senior supervisor with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
We all feel strongly about improving the food system, and not protecting one of the world’s great food resources is simply wrong. Here are three real, practical ways to make a difference:
1- Sign the online petition. Make sure the folks in Washington know how we feel.
2- Make a video. Call us and we will send you a “No Pebble Mine” cap that you can wear shooting a short smart-phone video telling the folks in Washington that protecting our food supply is in our national interest. Or tell them how you really feel. We will be widely sharing our chef videos to show solidarity from the food movement.
3- Best way to save salmon is to eat them. Forty million sockeye will return to Bristol Bay in July, and along with our friends at Chefs Collaborative we will be organizing fresh sockeye salmon dinners to spread the word.
In the ever growing food world, the chef is the gatekeeper. Do the right thing.