The area of Bristol Bay in Alaska is home to one of the greatest runs of wild sockeye salmon and over two dozen Alaskan Native Communities. The area is rich in deposits of gold, copper and molybdenum, which can be found in the around the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers, two of the eight major rivers that feed Bristol Bay  .
Since 2010, there is a proposal for a mine that would be one of the largest in the country. Because of its size, geochemistry and location, the Pebble proposal mine runs a high risk of polluting Bristol Bay . Therefore, environmentalists, activist and local residents highly oppose and protest against the proposed project   . The proposed mine developers is the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) .
The proposed mine by the Pebble Limited Partnership at the headwaters of the Nushagak and Kvichak rivers would be 2 miles across and 2,000 feet deep. Billions of tons of mine waste would be dumped into artificial lakes created by flooding 10 square miles of land behind earthen dams more than 600 feet high .
The environmental risks of this project are enormous, but equally important are the devastating repercussions the mine will have on the indigenous peoples of Bristol Bay, who have lived on these lands for generations and depend on the bay’s salmon for their survival .
Accordingly, 7,500 people live in the Bristol Bay region, the majority of them Alaska Natives --- Yup’ik, Alutiiq and Athabaskan tribal members of Bristol Bay. With wild salmon comprising 52 percent of the average Native family’s diet, these fish and the clean water they depend on are key to survival  .
Environmentalist and the communities underthe name "Save Bristol Bay" reacted at the begging of the mine proposal, 10 years long battle, and achieved the following:
In 2010: Nine Bristol Bay tribes, commercial fishermen and sportsmen requested to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to initiate the 404(c) process of Environmental Assessment study under the Clean Water Act .
2012: In response to the above request, EPA issued two drafts of the Assessment, concluding that the Pebble proposal would negatively impact Bristol Bay salmon. Public input was accepted nationwide, with more than 1 million comments supporting EPA's work, and hundreds of scientists weighed in verifying these conclusions .
2013: The Alaska Department of Natural Resorces (DNR) signed and adopted a Determination of Reclassification and Plan Amendment to the Bristol Bay Area Plan, which significantly increased the amount of lands classified Wildlife Habitat and Public Recreation in the region .
The same year, the final Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment was released recommending that it is not likely that Pebble can operate in Bristol Bay without harming salmon . Anglo American, the first and a major investor in the Pebble mine, abandoned its $541-plus million investment in the project .
2014: Global mining giant Rio Tinto gifted its 19.1% stake in Northern Dynasty (now the sole member of the Pebble Limited "Partnership") to two Alaskan charities, therefore also walking away from the Pebble mine .
2014: EPA released its Proposed Determination proposing to limit mining within the Bristol Bay region on the basis that the mine would cause irreversible and unacceptable damage to the Bristol Bay salmon ecosystem. Over 1.5 million comments were submitted across the country on the proposal, 85.9% of which were in support of strong protections for Bristol Bay  .
2016: An independent federal watchdog, the Inspector General, determined the U.S. Environmental Protection agency acted fairly in its conduct during the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, the findings of which ultimately directed the Agency to limit mining activities in Bristol Bay due to its unacceptable risk on wild salmon, clean water and a thriving fish-based economy .
2017: After a meeting between the EPA Administrator and the CEO of Northern Dynasty, the EPA Administrator ignored years of scientific study and overwhelming public opinion and directed staff to withdraw important protections for Bristol Bay salmon. At the same time, Pebble's website states they are "only just now preparing to apply for permits," despite promising the permit applications were eminent, presumably while waiting for a "favorable political window, for over ten years", according the the activists website . Therefore a large number of comments were submitted to the EPA in support of strong protections for the region  .
The same year (2017) Pebble filed for a key federal-level permit. The phase one plan presented in the permit application confirms that the proposed Pebble mine would be harmful for Bristol Bay and its world-famous salmon fisheries. In response, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the key agency in charge of reviewing the permit, laid out an unprecedentedly rushed permit review timeline. But U.S. EPA announced that he would not withdraw the 2014 Clean Water Act 404(c) Proposed Determination for Bristol Bay, Alaska .
2018: The Army Corps of Engineers released the final report concerning Pebble’s phase one permit. Over 400,000 comments were submitting raising concerns about Pebble’s application, including the incompleteness of the plan submitted, lack of demonstrated proof of financial viability, inadequate opportunity for public input, improperly segmenting review due to the mine expand, and negative impacts to the region .
2019: The Corps underestimate the environmental impacts. Still, the document showed the proposed Pebble mine will cause immense impacts to the region, destroying more than 3,500 acres of wetlands and 80 stream miles. Close to 700,000 comments were submitted in opposition to Pebble’s plan  .
2019: Despite EPA releasing comments critical of Pebble’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the agency announced that they would begin to withdraw the 2014 Proposed Determination on Water Act .
In October 2019, tribal organisations, Trout Unlimited, and conservation groups announced that they would be suing the EPA over this decision. The groups allege that the EPA broke the Administrative Procedures Act and Clean Water Act when it ignored science and the potential impacts of developing the mine, and that the decision was made to support Pebble’s acquisition of the key federal-level permit .