Secretary Jewell Applauds President Obama's Action to Protect Fisheries of Bristol Bay from Oil & Gas Development

Cites community leaders like the late Harvey Samuelsen who advocated for decades to protect region's economic and cultural heritage

Last edited 09/29/2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell lauded President Obama's action today to designate the waters of Bristol Bay as off limits to consideration for oil and gas development. Located off the southwest coast of Alaska, Bristol Bay is known for its world-class fisheries and stunning beauty which drive the economy through tourism and commercial and recreational fishing.

“The President's action caps decades of work from the community to protect the region's economic and cultural heritage,” Jewell said. “With its pristine waters, rich fisheries and strong tourist economy, Bristol Bay is a treasure that should be off limits for oil and gas development.”

Jewell applauded efforts from local residents to protect Bristol Bay, especially the late Harold “Harvey” Samuelsen, a leading commercial fisherman who championed both the protection of the bay and its fisheries and the economic well-being of fishermen, native communities and other Alaskans.

“We can't overstate the importance of Harvey Samuelsen and so many other Alaskans in the protection of Bristol Bay,” Jewell said. “Today's action is in many ways a result of their passion for and stewardship of this special place and puts the threat of future drilling finally to rest.”

Today's decision to withdraw the area from all future oil and gas leasing eliminates the sunset date to a withdrawal that President Obama issued in 2010 and was set to expire in 2017.

Additional information on President Obama's action can be found here.

Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment