West coast House call for salmon

UPDATED 2/20/2010 Eleven Pacific-region congressmen and women have joined Los Angeles Representative Grace Napolitano in writing California Senator Dianne Feinstein asking her to withdraw her proposed rider to a pending jobs bill that could quadruple Bay-Delta water deliveries to powerful farm interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. The House group, several of them members of the Subcommittee on Water and Power chaired by Napolitano, wrote on the grounds that the Delta water exports demanded by Feinstein risk annihilation of the Pacific salmon fishery and at the same time could up-end years of hard-fought negotiations to produce pending water reform legislation in California.

To read the text from Reps. George Miller (D-CA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), David Wu (D-OR), Norm Dicks (D-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Doris Matsui (D-CA), and John Garamendi (D-CA), click here.

Feinstein

Calls to California Legislature to save Delta salmon

Delta salmon. Photo: California Department of Water Resources

FOLLOWING Saturday’s editorial pointing to a tide of water bills about to surface in Sacramento, today the San Francisco Chronicle carries a guide to those bills along with calls to protect the Bay-Delta’s historic salmon fisheries.

Samples, links below along with a guide to the bills.

From “As the Delta goes, so go our salmon:”

“The estuary is dying. California has long viewed the delta as a massive reservoir it could endlessly plumb for agriculture and development. Water “wasting” to the sea is seen as a massive leak. In reality, the delta is an ecosystem – it is our Everglades, our Chesapeake Bay. An estuary’s lifeblood is its freshwater inflow mixing with saline tidal flows to create a rich, brackish water that nourishes salmon, crabs, sole, oysters and shrimp. As the estuary dies, so do California salmon.”

From “Limit