THIS JUST IN … Defenders of Wildlife: Rider threatens Flint funding, CA Bay Delta, and wildlife; Golden Gate Salmon Ass’n calls it a congressional water grab

Rider threatens Flint funding, CA Bay Delta, and wildlife

From Defenders of Wildlife:

defenders of wildlifeSenator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) inserted anti-environmental language into the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill today that would undermine protections for salmon, Delta smelt and other endangered species in California. This language jeopardizes vital funding to help Flint, Michigan replace its lead-contaminated water system.

The following is a statement by Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife:

“This is a case of across-the-aisle deal-making gone wrong. This cynical and unacceptable ploy threatens wildlife in California, risks the health of the already-stressed Bay Delta and ultimately jeopardizes the welfare of the Flint community. The proposed rider in WRDA undermines critical protections for salmon, Delta smelt and other endangered wildlife.

Every person has a right to clean water, clean air and healthy ecosystems. Access to safe drinking water should never be a bargaining chip for political gain.

“We need both clean budgets and clean water, and this rider attempts to trade one for the other.”

Golden Gate Salmon Association reacts to attempted congressional water grab

From the Golden Gate Salmon Association:GGSA Logo

Congressman Kevin McCarthy and his allies in Congress are working to force a last minute deal harmful to California salmon into the Water Resources Development Act.  This language, which their offices have still not released to the public, was drafted initially by San Joaquin Valley agribusiness interest that have been fighting for years to weaken legal protections for San Francisco Bay, the Delta, and California’s salmon fishing industry.

The most recent version of the bill that we have seen would be disastrous for salmon – weakening existing bare bones salmon protections that have been upheld by independent scientific review and by the courts.  Basically, since the courts have upheld the best science guiding current law, the growers and their Congressional allies are moving to simply dump existing law and re-write it to their liking.

John McManus, executive director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association reacted with this statement.

“It takes one gallon of water to produce a single almond.  Why are some in Congress insisting on taking even more water from Northern California salmon and giving it to junior water rights holders in the western San Joaquin desert to grow more almonds for export overseas?  Seizing more Northern California salmon water to reward political friends in the Western San Joaquin desert will greatly harm thousands of working people up and down the coast and in the Sacramento Valley who depend on salmon to make a living.

Californians greatly value the state’s salmon and don’t support pulling the bare bone minimum protections they currently have.”

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