Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a weekly roundup of the most pressing conservation issues important to anglers. Working with our friends at Trout Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, The Everglades Foundation, Captains for Clean Water, Bullsugar.org, and Conservation Hawks (among others), we’ll make sure you’ve got the information you need to understand the issues and form solid opinions.
If you know of an important issue–whether it’s national or local–that anglers should be paying attention to, comment below, and we’ll check it out!
1. Don’t Wait to Add Your Voice to the Public Comment Period on Draft Pebble EIS
We are now almost one-third of the way through the 90-day comment period, during which you can tell the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers just what you think of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed Pebble Mine. If you want a primer on what’s wrong with the EIS, read the excellent op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News by seven lodge owners, including Brian Kraft of Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge and Dan Michels of Crystal Creek Lodge.
If you haven’t made your voice heard yet, now is the time. The more anti-Pebble comments we can generate, the more pressure there will be on legislators to provide adequate oversight and stop this disaster-in-the-making.
2. Public Hearings on Draft Pebble EIS Kick Off
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is holding a series of public hearings to gather comments on the draft EIS. Anti-Pebble advocates are trying to get as many folks as possible to show up for these meetings. Save Bristol Bay plans rallies before the largest hearings, in Dillingham, Homer, and Anchorage.
There are nine hearings in all:
March 25: Naknek
March 26: Kokhanok
March 27: Newhalen
March 28: Igiugig
March 29: New Stuyahok
April 8: Nondalton
April 9: Dillingham
April 11: Homer
April 16: Anchorage
3. Lots Happening for Everglades Restoration Efforts
Ever since Gov. Ron DeSantis took office, there’s been growing momentum for Everglades restoration. These days, all the talk is about funding. According to an article in the Sun-Sentinel, Florida lawmakers are working on spending bills, with the Senate proposing $360 million and the house $327.4 million.
The federal budget is another story, as President Trump has proposed just $63.3 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to do its work in the Everglades. Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, made his argument in an article in the Orlando Weekly:
“We have consistently urged that the federal government meet its commitment to Everglades restoration at a level of at least $200 million for this fiscal year – an amount needed annually to restore America’s Everglades for future generations, reduce polluted water discharges from Lake Okeechobee, and help ensure clean drinking water for over eight million Floridians.”
4. Orvis Will Match Your Donation to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation recognizes that saving the Bay is uniquely tied to restoring the native oyster, Crassostrea virginica. It costs about $1 to plant 100 oysters, and CBF is hoping to raise enough money by March 31 to plant 2 million oysters.
This is a great time to give because Orvis will match all donations from now until the end of the month. That means every dollar you give will fund the planting of 200 oysters. Double the power of your donation!
For more information on oyster restoration in Chesapeake Bay, click here.