46% of the wild sockeye salmon left in the world come from one place: Bristol Bay, Alaska (National Geographic). Unbelievably, this pristine ecosystem, the fishing industry that thrives there and the Alaska Native people living there for over 10,000 years are threatened with environmental destruction by a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine.
We organize musicians to use their music and access to fans and media to spread the word about the struggle to protect Bristol Bay from being destroyed by the proposed Pebble Mine. In three years we have built a network of over 500 musicians. In 2015, musicians around the country sang and spoke to their fans about Bristol Bay. Members Tret Fure and Tom Chapin released two new CDs with three new songs about the struggle. And when mobilization and response has been required, we have turned it out.
This has been accomplished on an almost completely volunteer basis. Our 2016-17 Work Plan is designed to deepen engagement with current members, broaden the musician base in age, ethnicity and genre, and provide more opportunities for musicians to get these songs out to a wider network. The key missing element for this plan is a part-time field organizer.
The fight to stop the Pebble Mine and to protect Bristol Bay forever is far from over. With your support, we will sound the alarm for continued vigilance and will help more people act to Stop the Pebble Mine.
1. Hire a part time organizer
2. Contact and survey current membership to understand best ways to deepen engagement
3. Solidify an expanded network of community-based organizations, educational institutions, and community and political leaders that can help us create a broader outreach and engagement effort.
4. Continue to create opportunities to showcase and promote the songs and videos our members generate
5. Defeat the Pebble Mine once and for all.
why we’re doing it
If built, Pebble Mine will include a two mile wide open pit mine smack in the middle of the headwaters of both the Nushagak River (one of the top king salmon producing rivers worldwide) and the Kvichak River (the top sockeye salmon producing river in the world).
The mine complex would include a 10 square mile “pond” with up to 10 billion tons of toxic mine waste that the Pebble Mine would produce over its lifetime. Worse, earthquakes happen here. In 1964 a 9.2 earthquake devastated Anchorage, less than 300 miles away. Any release of mine waste into the surface or groundwater has the potential to destroy the entire ecosystem, as just happened two weeks ago to the River Doce in Brazil, when a tailings damn breached.
Music teaches, inspires and changes hearts and minds. About a year before he died, Pete Seeger, one of the greatest musical activists of all time, became a member of Musicians United to Protect Bristol Bay and endorsed our efforts. No one says it better!