NOAA moves to avert fish extinction in Bay Delta. “What is at stake here is not just the survival of species but the health of entire ecosystems and the economies that depend on them.”
Posted on | June 5, 2009 | 1 Comment
Best of press & reactions from environmentalists, Central Valley farmers and Governor Schwarzenegger: Aquafornia
FROM THE NOAA RELEASE: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the final draft of a revised Bay-Delta biological opinion today that finds the water pumping operations in California’s Central Valley by the federal Bureau of Reclamation jeopardize the continued existence of several threatened and endangered species under the jurisdiction of NOAA’s Fisheries Service.
Federal biologists and hydrologists concluded that current water pumping operations in the Federal Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project should be changed to ensure survival of winter and spring-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, the southern population of North American green sturgeon and Southern Resident killer whales, which rely on Chinook salmon runs for food.
Two independent peer review panels were conducted to ensure the opinion is solidly grounded in the best available science. The package was peer reviewed by the CalFed Independent Science Board and the Center for Independent Experts.
“What is at stake here is not just the survival of species but the health of entire ecosystems and the economies that depend on them,” said Rod Mcinnis, southwest regional director for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “We are ready to work with our federal and state partners, farmers and residents to find solutions that benefit the economy, environment and Central Valley families.”
Adopting better water management practices could mean 5-7% cuts in water deliveries to the Central Valley and Southern California.