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. Florida’s “Lost Summer” of Algae Blooms
This summer, the waters of South Florida have been plagued by toxic blue-green algae that have fouled what should be a vacationer’s and sportsman’s paradise. The state’s water problems are myriad, but Lake Okeechobee brings many bad things together and then flush them to the coast. This is not a new problem, but it seems to be getting worse.
One answer is to construct a reservoir south of Okeechobee, which could store the water that’s now wreaking havoc on both coasts. That water could then be sent south to be filtered by The Everglades. We need to urge Congress to approve the funding for this plan, and that’s where your voice can make a difference.
How You Can Help!
Simply text the word “WATER” to 52886 or click here, and you’ll be sent to an online form that allows you to easily e-mail your Senators and Representative and urge them to PASS the 2018 Water Bill and BUILD the Everglades Reservoir. Please do it today!
2. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Releases Pebble Project Scoping Report
Last Friday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the scoping report for the Environmental Impact Study that is part of the permitting process for Pebble Mine. According to an article in Alaska Journal of Commerce,
The summary released Aug. 31 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of the topics the public wants studied in the lead up to a permitting decision for the proposed Pebble mine was met with criticism from groups who feel the mine review is being fast-tracked.
The comments that make up the scoping report are, as the name implies, intended to guide the scope of analysis in the environmental impact statement, or EIS, the Corps is in the midst of drafting for the large mine project.
The Corps received just under 175,000 comments during the scoping period.
Opponents of the mine believe that the comment period was too short and that the report glosses over some important concerns, according to the Anchorage Daily News:
“Today’s report is a preview of how Alaskans should expect the remainder of the permitting process for the Pebble Mine to be managed by the federal government,” said Tim Bristol, director of Salmon State. “Their first major action on permitting was rushed, ignored the voices of Alaskans and overlooked countless problems with Pebble’s application.”
Specific concerns about Pebble’s plan submitted by TU during scoping can be found here. A letter submitted by more than two dozen Alaskan business owners is here. Click the link below to learn more and to find out what you can do the help stop Pebble Mine.