WWF Statement on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers IPOP Project Permit

This week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reversed an earlier decision and approved a permit to dredge and dispose of mining material in U.S. waters near Sitnasuak, or Nome, Alaska. In response, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Steve MacLean, WWF managing director of U.S. Arctic:

"The estuaries around Nome, Alaska are considered essential fish habitat for king crab and salmon that Alaska Native communities depend on. Reversing the 2022 permit denial and opening the Bonanza Channel to extractive gold mining not only endangers the local ecosystems but also threatens the way of life and cultural heritage of Alaska Native peoples in the Bering Strait Region.

Communities and wildlife are inextricably connected in the U.S. Arctic. Many Alaska Native peoples maintain traditional subsistence practices to feed their families and these communities have stewarded their ocean resources for generations. A rapidly warming Arctic is already bringing novel and dire threats for Alaska's nature and people. Forgoing tribal consortium comments, ignoring traditional knowledge and values, and moving forward with mining only adds additional stress to this region."