BLOG ROUND-UP: Dams be damned: California rebuilds the salmon habitat it destroyed; Lawsuit over Oroville Dam records; Acre-feet lesson; SoCal emails; Eviscerating state & federal enviro laws; and more …

blog-round-up-previous-editionsDams be damned: California rebuilds the salmon habitat it destroyed:  “Wander out the back door of the tasting room at Truett Hurst Winery in Sonoma County, California, and follow the dirt path to the red Adirondack chairs next to Dry Creek. Look just downstream to the side channel that splits off the main waterway. You will see sets of interwoven logs and overturned trees with roots that splay along the banks. These aren’t the result of a particularly rough storm — they are there by design. As Dry Creek rushes by, these logs and root beds point the way to a newly excavated side channel — prime habitat for spawning and juvenile salmon.  In freshwater waterways along the coast from Marin to Mendocino counties, agencies are restoring salmonid streams to create habitat diversity, areas that provide deep pooling, predator protection, and side channels of slower-moving water. … ”  Read more from Truth Out here:  Dams be damned: California rebuilds the salmon habitat it destroyed

Group files lawsuit against DWR over Oroville Dam records:  Dan Bacher writes, “AquAlliance, a Chico-based environment group, has filed a lawsuit with Judge Timothy M. Frawley in Sacramento Superior Court alleging the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has broken state law by failing to release records regarding the Oroville Dam spillway crisis.  The litigation takes place as construction crews hired by DWR’s prime contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Company continue work on the spillways. In the past two weeks, Kiewit has focused on removing the lower 2,000 feet, or lower chute, of the gated flood control spillway, also known as the main spillway, according to DWR. Kiewit is using excavators and controlled blasting to demolish the concrete slabs and walls of the lower chute. … ”  Read more from the Fish Sniffer here:  Group files lawsuit against DWR over Oroville Dam records

Acre-feet lesson: The 16,000 acre-feet that are being lost every day is enough water for the whole city of Madera for 9-months:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “The dam managers in California are trying to balance the water coming into reservoirs with what they release down the rivers.  There’s still a lot of snowmelt in the mountains and there has to be enough room in the reservoirs or the managers lose control.  Here’s a brief look at Millerton Lake/Friant Dam:  Millerton holds up to 520,000 acre feet.  Remember an acre-foot is enough water for a family of four to use in a year.  Tuesday Millerton held 422,000 acre-feet.  ... ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Acre-feet lesson

Email reveals Southern California water lobbying to ignore science and approve Delta tunnels plan:  “In an email forwarded to Delta activist groups last week, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California general manager Jeffrey Kightlinger asked dozens of member agencies to lobby the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) because, “The final permit in the California WaterFix process will be for the Department of Water Resources to certify that this conveyance process is consistent with the Delta Plan.” Kightlinger encourages agencies to “…come to Sacramento and provide public comment on June 22.”  Weeks ago, MWD staff members indicated that passage of the Conveyance and Storage Amendment by the DSC was essential for MWD to move forward with financial planning for CA WaterFix (Delta Tunnels). … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Email reveals Southern California water lobbying to ignore science and approve Delta tunnels plan

Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot of water:  Tom Cannon writes, “In a May 29 post, I discussed how a small diversion of cold water from the West Branch of the Feather River sustains the Butte Creek spring-run Chinook salmon, the largest spring-run salmon population in the Central Valley. In a May 8 post, I described how the Shasta River, despite its relatively small size, produces up to half the wild fall-run Chinook salmon of the Klamath River. In both examples, it is not the amount of water, but the quality of the water and the river habitat that matters. In the former case, man brought water to the fish. In the latter, man returned water and habitat to the fish. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here:  Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot of water

Protect the science, protect the species:  “As we face irreversible destruction of species and their habitats due to threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, overharvesting, pollution, climate change, and invasive species, lawmakers indicate they intend to attack the Endangered Species Act again. Under the current administration, we’ve already witnessed the introduction of several pieces of legislation intended to weaken the Endangered Species Act or specific species protections. Most recently, Senator Barrasso (R-WY), chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, announced interest in introducing legislation sometime this summer to overhaul the Act (here and here), despite the ESA’s history of overwhelming support from voters. These potential modifications would mean shifting the authority of implementing the Endangered Species Act from scientists and wildlife managers to politicians. … ”  Read more from The Equation blog here:  Protect the science, protect the species

Life on the farm in the West is shaped by water:  “Even after a very rainy winter in California, the state—and much of the West—is still experiencing drought conditions. To call water a complex issue is an understatement.  Tershia D’Elgin has immersed herself in the subject of Western water rights. In her book, The Man Who Thought He Owned Water, the San Diego-based writer and water resources consultant charts the history of her family’s farm, Big Bend Station, on the South Platte River in Colorado through the water it uses. Despite her depth of knowledge of hydrology, biology, law, and policy, D’Elgin approaches the issue as an activist, with a personal connection to the land and a mission to inspire others to think critically about the way water is used in agriculture. … ”  Read more from Civil Eats here:  Life on the farm in the West is shaped by water

The EPA brings back mercury pollution rule after NRDC sues:  “In December 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a rule to protect Americans from the five million tons of mercury—a dangerous neurotoxin—that dental offices dispose of into the water every year. But on President Trump’s first day of office, the White House directed the agency to withdraw the rule, along with all other rules that were final but not yet published in the Federal Register. It turns out the rollback was illegal—the EPA is required to give the public adequate notice and the opportunity to comment—so NRDC immediately sued. Late last week, the EPA reinstated the protection. ... ”  Read more from the NRDC blog here:  The EPA brings back mercury pollution rule after NRDC sues

California members of Congress seek to eviscerate state water & environmental laws:  “Quite understandably, the attention of the media, environmental organizations and the general public has been focused on the myriad misadventures of the Trump Administration, now rumbling and stumbling through its fifth month.  And, as recounted on Legal Planet since mid-January, those contretemps include a great deal of environmental mischief emanating from the Executive Branch.  But it would be a mistake to focus just on (anti-) environmental policies being generated by the White House.  The Republican-controlled Congress–and especially the House of Representatives–is more quietly developing its own strategy to eviscerate environmental laws and supersede longstanding state prerogatives. … ”  Read more from the Legal Planet blog here:  California members of Congress seek to eviscerate state water & environmental laws

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About the Blog Round-up: The Blog Round-up is a weekly journey through the wild and varied tapestry of blog commentary, incorporating the good, the bad, the ugly, and sometimes just plain bizarre viewpoints existing on the internet. Viewpoints expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily my own; inclusion of items here does not imply my endorsement of their positions. Items are chosen to express a wide range of viewpoints, and are added at the editor’s discretion. While posts with obvious factual errors are excluded, please note that no attempt is made on my part to verify or fact check the information bloggers present, so caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.

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