Environmental stories that take place in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

UAF Alaska Earthquake Center

Updated 5 p.m. Oct. 24, 2018: In an unprecedented event, two earthquakes shook the coast of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Tuesday night. The quakes hit about 45 miles offshore from the community of Hooper Bay, and seismologists are looking closer at the unusual temblors.

The board of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation declared its support this week for a controversial salmon habitat ballot initiative, Alaska Native News reports. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

One of the biggest gold mines in the world could be built along the Kuskokwim River, north of Bethel. The Donlin mine has escaped the intense level of public scrutiny aimed at the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay so far, but it’s much further along in the permitting process. 

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Winter is coming. And in the village of Aniak, that means people are saving up to cover high heating costs. The Aniak Traditional Council is gearing up to help residents cut down on those bills by taking in applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP. 

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

State officials hosted a public meeting on a controversial salmon habitat ballot initiative in Bethel on Tuesday. The salmon habitat ballot initiative would toughen the permitting process for proposed projects built on salmon habitat, and could hinder the development of the proposed Donlin mine. The Donlin mine could be one of the biggest gold mines in the world if built, and would be located in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. 

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Alaska officials are hosting a public hearing at the Bethel Cultural Center on September 25 about a controversial salmon habitat initiative. Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott will attend.

Residents of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta can testify about the salmon habitat ballot initiative from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The state will use a translator for those who wish to testify or listen in Yup’ik.

The Bethel ONC Tribe passed a resolution supporting a controversial salmon ballot initiative last week. Thus far, the tribe is the first one in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta to pass a resolution specifically endorsing it.

"We see this as just another step for protecting our river and protecting our way of life subsistence-wise," said ONC Executive Director Peter Evon.

Katie Basile / KYUK

The environmental group Earthjustice is requesting an informal review of a key water quality permit that the Department of Environmental Conservation granted to the Donlin Gold mine. Donlin could build one of the biggest gold mines in the world and is moving through the permitting process.


Alaska state officials will hold a public hearing about a controversial ballot initiative that would toughen salmon habitat protections on September 25 in Bethel.

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Public hearings for massive mining projects can be emotional. And in the case of the Donlin Mine public hearing last week in Bethel, many residents were angry with how state government officials conducted it.