Wednesday Wake-Up Call: 05.29.24

Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a roundup of the most pressing conservation issues important to anglers. Working with our friends at Trout UnlimitedBackcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation PartnershipThe Everglades FoundationCaptains for Clean WaterVoteWater.orgBonefish & Tarpon Trust, and Conservation Hawks (among others), we’ll make sure you’ve got the information you need to understand the issues and form solid opinions.

1. TU Goes Back to Court to Protect Bristol Bay

Photo by Pat Clayton

Trout Unlimited’s legal team is stepping back onto the legal battlefield to defend EPA Clean Water Act 404(c) safeguards in Bristol Bay.

In March 2024, Northern Dynasty Minerals and the State of Alaska launched a multi-faceted legal assault, challenging the scientifically backed and widely supported Clean Water Act (CWA) safeguards that block the proposed Pebble mine.

On May 17, Trout Unlimited’s legal team announced that we will be intervening in defense of CWA safeguards, which were enacted after 13 years of Tribal consultation, robust scientific scrutiny, and record-breaking public engagement, and were widely celebrated by fish advocates across the planet.

This threat has mobilized a diverse coalition of tribal, economic, and environmental stakeholders who also intervened in these lawsuits. While each intervening party will raise unique concerns, Trout Unlimited’s legal intervention will underscore the ecological and recreational importance of Bristol Bay and the incredible role it plays in America’s hunting and fishing heritage.

Click here to learn more at savebristolbay.org

Further Reading:

2. Sugar Industry Lawsuit Threat to EAA Reservoir, Actionable Everglades Restoration

As we told you a couple weeks ago, Big Sugar is suing over a critical restoration project, the EAA Reservoir, in a move that threatens Everglades restoration and the future of Florida’s waters. The lawsuit could establish the EAA Reservoir as a personal, taxpayer-funded water supply for the sugar industry, instead of its intended use: to restore the natural Everglades flow by storing, cleaning, and sending more beneficial water south.

The EAA Reservoir is the single most impactful restoration project designed to provide large-scale relief to all of south Florida’s waterways. If Big Sugar wins the lawsuit, it could upend years of restoration progress and increases the risk of:

  • More toxic coastal discharges
  • More harmful algal blooms and massive fish kills
  • Billions of dollars of economic impact
  • Tens of thousands of jobs lost
  • The fate of a National Treasure

Our partners at Captains for Clean Water are urging the United States Sugar Corporation, Okeelanta Corporation (Florida Crystals), and the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida to WITHDRAW their lawsuit over the EAA Reservoir, and we need your voice!

Click here to learn more

Further Reading:

3. Atlantic Salmon Are in Trouble

Photo by Sandy Hays

Atlantic Salmon are in trouble. Ask anyone invested in their plight and they’ll tell you how bad it is and who’s to blame. It’s always someone else. It’s gotten so bad that Atlantic Salmon in the UK is now officially an endangered species and on the IUCN Red List. In Ireland, the population has collapsed by 80% in 20 years. Other places and other salmon species are not far behind, and the word extinction has entered the debate. I’ve been asking myself how I feel about fishing for Atlantics in our local rivers, where they are officially endangered. The answer is not good. I’ve given up my rod on our local river this season, mostly because there are no fish, or at least none that I can catch (and return).

Just about everywhere the value is slowly ebbing out of fishing for wild Atlantic Salmon, almost no matter how or where we do it, from mega-trawler to rod and line. Sure, we can remove dams and nets, replant catchments and clean up pollution to help mitigate the decline, but it won’t be enough. This crisis is universal, which is of note because not everywhere has nets or fish farms or pollution or management corruption. Indeed, some have none of the above, yet their salmon are also in trouble.

Click here to read more in Hatch Magazine

Further Reading:

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