CSPA Action Alert 7.21.08
AB 1806 Under Assault from water contractors, needs Immediate Support
AB 1806, the delta restoration and mitigation bill, is in serious trouble. This bill is extremely important for the future health of delta fisheries. The situation is grim as water contractors are seriously lobbying members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to strike the section of the bill that requires the mitigation for project operations. This portion of the bill is critical to stop the declines of our delta fisheries including Chinook salmon, striped bass, delta smelt and other species. This bill has already passed scrutiny by the assembly committees and passed on the assembly floor. The Senate Appropriations Committee is its last stop before a full senate floor vote.
The bill will be heard by the Appropriations Committee on August 4th.
It is imperative that EVERYONE concerned with the health of the delta write the chair and the vice-chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Further, if your district senator sits on the committee, you should write him as well.
Club/organization presidents and editors, please forward this Alert to your members via your e-mail network. Please print and distribute if you will hold meetings prior to August 4th. Please encourage ALL your members to write.
Written or typed, stamped letters mailed via snail mail are best, however, the below senators' links provide fax numbers, e-mail addresses when available and on-line form fill pages. The most important thing is that you take action! Write, cut and paste or e-mail!
You may write your own letter or use all or parts of the sample letters below. The most important thing is that you take the time to write! Cut and paste freely!
(Sample Letter One)
In support of AB 1806 (Wolk) - Fish Rescue Plans & Mitigation
Dear Senator ______________,
I have been an avid California fisherman for many years. Sadly, I've witnessed the decline of one of the world's greatest fisheries, the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. This decline has, in large part, been caused by the damage done during the pumping process of the shipment of water south. The fish killed in this process include the west's most famous game fish, the Chinook salmon, the striped bass and the endangered delta smelt. All of these fish and the other fishes of the delta are in serious decline because the pumping process. The deterioration of the Chinook salmon stocks is so dire that the governors of California, Oregon and Washington asked the federal government to declare it a disaster, a request that President Bush granted.
AB 1806 is an extremely important piece of legislation that requires water users benefiting from the pumping of water south to mitigate for the losses of these fish. It is only fair and right that this mitigation take place since they are the ones benefiting while the fisheries of the delta are being destroyed by their actions. The mitigation will allow for additional funds to restore our state's delta fisheries toward some semblance of their former health.
I sincerely ask you to vote yes when the bill reaches your committee, without any further amendment which would relieve the requirements of mitigation as an integral part of the bill.
Here's a second letter, with more detail
(Sample Letter Two)
Re: AB 1806 (Wolk) - Fish Rescue Plans & Mitigation
Dear Senator ______________,
AB 1806 is critical legislation essential to beginning the process of restoring the fishery resources of the Delta and its tributaries. It requires the state and federal water projects fully mitigate for all of the fishery impacts caused by the operation of these projects. This is essential if we are to stop the horrendous decline of the fishery resources dependent on the Delta and its tributaries.
The facts are straightforward, neither of the projects completely mitigates for the direct and indirect losses of the fish killed by their delta export operations in contrast to their legal obligations.
AB 1806 has passed the Assembly and the Senate Natural Resources Committee because it requires critical action to stop the declines of our fisheries from the annual direct and indirect fisheries losses caused by the project's operations. Many millions of fish are lost each year that are not mitigated and appropriate mitigation is the only solution.
While this is not the only reason for the decline of the fisheries dependent on the Delta, until mitigation for these impacts are accomplished, we will continue to see the estuary's fisheries fail to recover. The decline in our fisheries over the past forty years is estimated by a DFG report to cost $8 billion in income not generated by the State's economy.
In addition, we now face a crisis with our fall-run salmon fishery. This year's salmon closure is estimated to cost some $250 million and the closure is likely to be extended next year. These are very grim economic facts and unless we make a mid-course correction now, this situation will only become worse and fishery closures more extensive.
The largest opposition to resolving this problem comes from the water districts that don't want to pay their fair share of the bill for the damages done by the projects. Should they prevail, it will force fishing and environmental interests back to court to seek more legal remedies. Failure to act now will likely result in more fisheries listed under the Endangered Species Acts and more litigation with solutions that could be far more detrimental to water rights holders in the Central Valley. The result would be greater fishery declines that will cost our state and its tax payers more money and continue to erode the ability of the public and the commercial fishing industry to utilize our once abundant fishery resources.
We urge your "aye vote" on this measure, without further amendment as regard to mitigation, when it's heard in Committee to help resolve one of the most critical problems faced by these valuable public fishery resources.
Below is the complete list of the senators on the Senate Appropriations Committee
If you chose to send a response electronically, use the on-line form link if no e-mail address is given.
California State Senate Appropriation Committee Members