President George Bush might be on the verge of lifting the moratorium on oil and gas development in Alaska's Bristol Bay.
Bristol Bay protected
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush issued executive Outer
Continental Shelf (OCS) leasing withdrawals, putting specific
sensitive ocean areas off limits to federal offshore oil and gas
leasing. In 1998, President Clinton added the North Aleutian Basin,
including Alaska's fishery-rich Bristol Bay, to President Bush's
existing executive leasing withdrawals. He also extended the
duration of this protection until June 30, 2012. President
Clinton's addition of Bristol Bay to the executive OCS leasing
withdrawals came in part because of the tragic Exxon-Valdez oil
spill. The spill provided compelling evidence that damaging oil
spills and other marine pollution could not be effectively cleaned
up in the rough seas and adverse weather conditions prevalent in
remote Alaskan waters for much of the year.
Bristol Bay hosts the world's largest wild salmon run and is
home to countless whales, seals, walrus and fish, as well as Alaska
Native communities dependent on these resources. So much of Alaska
is already open to oil and gas development, we can't risk damaging
the delicate ecosystem of Bristol Bay with the threats posed by
oil and gas development.
Read more about the wildlife in this area.
Protecting Bristol Bay
Greenpeace and a coalition of environmental groups have sent a
letter to the administration citing the impact of the Exxon Valdez
oil spill and calling attention to the economic importance of
Bristol Bay as a critical salmon fishery and an essential habitat
for the endangered northern right whale. Read
What you can do
action! Tell President Bush not to lift the moratorium on oil
and gas development in Alaska's Bristol Bay.