5 Things You Can Do Today to Protect Alaskan Waters and Communities

Written by Sarah Davidson

November 18, 2020

Photo by Jeremy Lavender of Lavender Peaks Photography

These are challenging times. As we’re all doing our best to keep up with what’s unfolding in our country and to remain healthy during this time that is so demanding of our energy, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or even powerless. Yet there are many projects moving forward at the local level throughout Southeast Alaska that offer an opportunity to influence our future. Here are 5 concrete actions you can take to raise your voice about protecting our local waterways and our collective health and well-being.

  1. By Sunday, Nov. 22: Greens Creek Mine wants to expand. Sign our petition asking the Forest Service to repeat the 1979-81 baseline studies in Hawk Inlet to determine Greens Creek Mine’s existing impacts before approving the mine’s proposed expansion. Learn more here.
  2. By Monday, Nov. 23: Provide written comments to the Forest Service regarding Greens Creek Mine’s proposed expansion plan. Learn more and see our suggested talking points here.
  3. By Monday, Nov. 30: Submit comments about Alaska’s water quality standards to the Division of Water’s Triennial Review, required by the federal Clean Water Act. Learn more and see our suggested talking points here.
  4. By Monday, Dec. 14: Kensington Mine also wants to expand. The Forest Service needs to hear directly from those who enjoy Berners Bay so they can protect other “uses” of the area in addition to the mine. Learn more about Berners Bay and the mine and see our suggested talking points here.
  5. Ongoing: DOWA Metals and Mining is a major investor and 49% partner in the proposed Constantine-Palmer Mine upstream of the Chilkat River and the communities of Klukwan and Haines. Learn more about the Chilkat Watershed and the mine here and send a letter asking DOWA to stop financing the mine here.

Additionally, if you want to learn more about Juneau’s cruise ship port planning and developments, there are currently two opportunities for public participation:

  1. Today, Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m.: MRV Architects and Norwegian Cruise Lines are hosting an informational meeting on the Subport development in downtown Juneau. This is the first of three public meetings. Find out more and get the meeting link here.
  2. Until Wednesday, Nov. 25: The public is encouraged to provide input on the Small Cruise Ship Master Plan. You can find a presentation about the plan and more information here.

While these times may often feel like too much, it’s important to remember that local level actions continue to be available to us, despite what’s happening at the national level, and that we are not powerless when we act together.

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