Bristol Bay has thousands of rivers and streams that would be degraded.
Bristol Bay is home to a number of large rivers (Egegik, Igushik, Kvichak, Nushagak, Naknek, Togiak, and Ugashik, to name a few), untold amounts of streams, lakes, ponds and marshes. It rains here most the summer. The waters are teeming with life. There are fish of all kinds--salmon, trout, arctic char, smelts, herring, hooligans, pike. Mammals such as otters, beavers, walrus, whales and seals also make Bristol Bay their home. There are plenty of bears, wolves, eagles, foxes and much more that rely on the waters of Bristol Bay to be clean--not to mention, of course, the humans that need the waters of Bristol Bay to be pure so that they continue their subsistence and economic ways of life. Water carries contaminants. If there were to be toxic run-off from the Pebble Mine, it would no doubt leach into groundwater and find its way running down-river into Bristol Bay. Trace amounts of copper inhibit salmon's ability to smell, and therefore salmon's ability to find home. Mines have a much easier time keeping their toxins localized when they are in dry environments. To keep toxins out of such a wet environment, like Bristol Bay, is impossible.