I'm a commercial fisherman in the Northern District of Cook Inlet. Many local setnetters make a living off the incredible salmon resources near the proposed Chuitna coal strip mine on the west side of Cook Inlet.
Now, the Kenai Peninsula Borough is considering a new lease for Ladd Landing to allow the coal company to build a huge 500,000 million-ton coal storage facility and a 600-by-800-foot island dock in front of our shore fishery leases.
This huge coal pile will leach toxic runoff into our fisheries, and the island dock will change fish migrations and directly harm setnet fish sites. On top of that, the proposed project would mine directly through an active salmon stream and dump billions of gallons of toxic mine waste into the Chuitna River and Cook Inlet each year.
All we have to do is look at the devastation coal strip mines have brought to other regions of the United States to know the same impacts will occur here in Cook Inlet. That's why the mayor and the borough assembly need to assess the long-term economic losses to our commercial fisheries before moving ahead with any plans to lease Ladd Landing to an Outside coal corporation.
I want my kids to be able to fish in Cook Inlet like I have.
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