Since 2010, I have fought alongside the Natural Resources Defense Council to stop the Pebble Mine -- a colossal open-pit copper-and-gold mine that a consortium of global mining giants want to gouge out of the spectacular untamed wilderness above Alaska's Bristol Bay.
Nothing like this place exists anywhere else on Earth.
Tens of millions of salmon course through this unspoiled Eden, feeding not just an abundance of bears, whales, seals and eagles but also the Alaskan Native communities that have thrived here for thousands of years. Salmon are the backbone of the region -- a renewable resource supporting a commercial fishing industry worth around $480 million a year. The fishery provides 14,000 full and part-time jobs, whereas the Pebble Mine promises only 1,000 permanent jobs.
The Pebble Mine is a disaster waiting to happen.
Now, a long-awaited study by the Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed that the Pebble Mine -- along with its estimated 10 billion tons of mining waste -- would spell disaster for Bristol Bay, its legendary salmon runs, its pristine environment and its people.
The time has come for President Obama to take the next crucial step: To direct his EPA to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to stop the Pebble Mine.
An overwhelming 80 percent of Bristol Bay's residents -- including its Native peoples and commercial fishermen -- oppose this monstrous project. They don't want their unspoiled home -- and the world's greatest wild salmon runs -- to become the kind of dead zone that surrounds other giant copper mines. They have asked the EPA to protect Bristol Bay.
All too often, the voices of such local citizens are drowned out in Washington by big-money special interests. We must not let that happen here. It's time for Americans to make their voices heard.
Please show your solidarity with the people of Bristol Bay by signing a Petition to the President. Call on him to save Bristol Bay and secure a lasting environmental legacy by directing his EPA to stop the Pebble Mine.