Multi-Species Act needed for Bay-Delta

Posted on | May 26, 2009 | No Comments

SOMETIMES the comments to a posting are as important, if not more important, than the posting itself. When this happens, they need highlighting. This response to the May 21 news that protections for the green sturgeon may cause yet more pumping stoppages in the Bay-Delta falls in that class. It comes from Adan Ortega, Jr., a former vice president at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and now a consultant on Western water for the Los Angeles firm Rose & Kindel:

The possibility that protections for green sturgeon will follow those for the Delta smelt points “to the precise reason why California needs a multi-species plan for the Delta,” writes Ortega.  “The idea that the Bay-Delta can be restored to a natural state is over 100 years too late. A species by species approach only helps a special niche of lawyers and lobbyists who represent cities, farmers and environmentalists stuck in 30 year-old “solutions.” The levees themselves altered the natural environment in the Delta. The task is not to restore the Delta but to decide how California will prioritize all that depend upon it – humans, fish/birds/plants, cities, farms – as well as how to manage the circumstances that affect it including short-term floods, changing sea levels, drought, pollution, and population growth. Like it or not, we are left to play God.

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