I don't believe for a minute that the Kensington Mine will not have severe effects on the productivity of the Berners Bay watershed, as implied by Chris Dewitt's My Turn on May 24. Coeur Alaska Corp. wants to dump mine tailings into a pristine alpine lake that drains into Berners Bay. The National Marine Fisheries Service recommends that Coeur apply for legal authorization to accidentally harass, injure or kill sea lions and whales in the Bay.
Berners Bay currently provides great recreation, boating, and hunting opportunities. I've seen firsthand that the bay is amazingly productive with excellent habitat for healthy populations of wild salmon, eulachon, herring, Steller sea lions, and humpback whales. The salmon from the bay spread throughout Lynn Canal, and the eulachon and herring feed large numbers of whales, sea lions, and birds that converge from outside the bay.
Destruction of a lake, mine tailings runoff, degraded herring spawning habitat, heavy boat traffic, and harassment, injury or killing of sea lions and whales seems like a lousy future for Berners Bay.
Juneau Empire ©2015. All Rights Reserved.