Campaign Activism and Environment Planning of Bristol Bay, Alaska: An Ecosystem More Valuable than i

Bristol Bay, Alaska is one of the last ecosystems left on earth that has not been altered by human impacts. The Bristol Bay watershed supports the largest intact wild sockeye salmon returns on the planet. The region’s rich ecosystem supports a healthy commercial and sport fishery, as well as a large population of subsistence peoples. The health, culture, and well-being of Bristol Bay’s people rests on the successful environmental protection of this region. However, the proposed Pebble Mine, containing gold, copper, and molybdenum, threatens the health of this landscape. If built, it would be the largest open pit mine in North America; and surely have an impact on the region’s fisheries.

Art has played a significant role in the history of conservation, particularly in America. As a historically successful tactic for conservation that helped create some of the United States’ first National Parks, I provide specific examples of preservation accomplishments. Meanwhile, I identify specific visual communication methods that may be used to protect the renewable resources of Bristol Bay and its native people’s way of life.

By exploring precedents and formal literature, I pair artistic and visually communicative techniques with socialist activism modes, and help lay the foundational steps for a grassroots effort that can help to protect the Bristol Bay region. Both the medium and the organization of a message, conveyed to reach specific constituencies, can have a significant role in the environmental planning process. Visual messages influence the psychology and actions behind decision-making. As a strategy to mobilize the public to protect Bristol Bay’s economy, environment and social welfare, I have produced images to help strengthen the voices of conservation advocates working to protect this priceless landscape.

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