Trout Unlimited today nominated the Koktuli River in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed as an Outstanding National Resource Water, a designation that affords the highest protection to the river’s pristine water quality and highly productive fish habitat.
An Outstanding National Resources Water (ONRW) is a designation under the Clean Water Act that aims to protect high-quality waters for existing uses. By designating a river or stream as an ONRW, no new or increased pollution discharges can occur within that body of water or any tributary.
ONRW designations are enacted under the anti-degradation provisions of the Clean Water Act. Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) is charged with overseeing Alaska’s anti-degradation policies, including identifying ONRWs with help from the public.
“An ONRW designation for the Koktuli makes sense given the river’s extreme value to the Alaska fishing industry, to the outdoor industry, and to local residents who depend on wild salmon for nutrition and cultural reasons. Our nomination is especially timely in light of the recent water permit violations by the Pebble Partnership which is planning to develop a huge open-pit mine near the Koktuli,” said Tim Bristol, director of Trout Unlimited in Alaska.
Download the press release.
Download the nomination summary.
Download the full nomination.
Download a map of the area.