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Mine threatens Cook Inlet belugas

Posted: October 12, 2011 - 8:29am

One of our nation's most vibrant wildlife paradise is on the verge of being transformed into an industrial wasteland. At stake is Alaska's beautiful Bristol Bay watershed -- a breathtaking jewel of wilderness barely touched by human developement. Its lush green forests, crystal-clear waters and sprawling tundra are home to magnificent wildlife including grizzly bears, eagles, moose, caribou, and the world's largest run of sockeye salmon. 

Buried deep beneath the headwaters of this pristine habitat are minerals such as gold, copper and molybdenum. Foreign-owned mining companies plan to exploit these minerals by building a mammoth open-pit mine right in the heart of Bristol Bay. This monstrosity would be two miles wide and 2,000 feet deep -- massive enough to swallow the Eiffel tower, twice. This gaping hole would be called Pebble Mine and would require gigantic earthen dams 50 stories high, nearly the size of the Washington Monument, to hold back mining waste.

But what is most frightening is that Pebble Mine would be built in an unstable seismic zone prone to frequent activity. If there was an earthquake, the dams could break releasing 10 billion tons of toxic waste, with devastating consequences for people and wildlife alike.

This massive mine is a massively bad idea. I ask every Alaskan to take a hard look at what is at stake! Right now the last 340 belugas of Alaska's Cook Inlet are fighting for their lives. These critically endangered whales are up against the State of Alaska and big business interests that want to develop and destroy their only habitat on earth. The belugas are in the way of the Anglo-American corporation, the global mining giant that wants to industrialize a critical part of their home as part of the monumental destructive Pebble Mine project. They want to build a deepwater port in Iniskin Bay-- a critical part of the Cook Inlet where belugas feed. That industrial port would trigger an invasion of ocean-going tankers and heavy duty diesel truck traffic.

The fate of our pristine wilderness, the precious wildlife and salmon water, the Cook Inlet beluga whales and our beautiful land is hanging in the balance and we need to get involved now to let our senators and representatives and our Governor know that we cannot allow our beautiful state to be disfigured and endangered and destroyed by foreign money and greed. Please help protect our wilderness!

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