Photo credit: (Mark Rutherford via Atlantic Magazine)
Paul Greenberg, author of the New York Times best seller Four Fish and writer for the renowned Atlantic magazine, spent the last few weeks writing an article via satellite from Bristol Bay, Alaska. While Greenberg’s article is undeniably pertinent with the EPA’s comment period closing on July 23rd, the article seems to explore a larger relationship between the web of man-made infrastructure and the health of our rivers.
People who would seek to tame Alaska say that the place lacks infrastructure. That it needs the trappings of modern life to become civilized. But for the people who depend on salmon and relish the region’s wildness, no better infrastructure need be created. For them the best infrastructure of all is unbounded, salmon-choked rivers.
Bristol Bay is an incredibly vibrant system of bio diversity and production above ground, yet its true mystique lies in the unground labyrinth of water and nutrients. The vast subsurface waterway emerges from time to time creating lakes, which Greenberg refers to as “pockmarks” or “pimples” popping up throughout the Alaskan tundra. Supporters of Pebble Mine claim that pollution from the mine will not escape into this underground system or damage the fishery, yet to every onlooker (including the EPA) that result seems inevitable.
Greenberg writes “it takes a lot of country to grow a lot of salmon.” Be apart of ensuring the salmon keep what little country they have left, and keep in mind what type of country we’d like to live in ourselves.