Statement of Senator Feinstein on Biological Opinion on Impact of Federal and State Water Projects in California’s Bay Delta
- Biological Opinion issued by National Marine Fisheries Service -
Jun 05 2009
"Yesterday, the National Marine Fisheries Service released a biological opinion on the impact of Federal and State water projects in California’s Bay Delta.
What the Agency found is that additional endangered species – including salmon, sturgeon, and steelhead – are jeopardized by the current water projects. The Agency concluded that to avoid the extinction of these endangered species, further restrictions on pumping next spring will be needed, along with a number of changes to the long-term operations of the Delta infrastructure.
What this underscores is the absolute urgency to develop a comprehensive, long-term plan that restores the Delta ecosystem, includes Delta communities, and provides a stable water supply – and that affected parties need to come to an agreement on a preferred alternative solution this year.
I believe this plan should include new conveyance, along with more storage, water recycling and conservation mandates, groundwater management, desalination, and a robust habitat restoration plan. At the same time, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan needs to expedite its work on the multi-species habitat conservation plan and the State needs to resolve the issues of governance, conservation, and financing as soon as possible.
Bottom line: the longer we wait, the worse the crisis gets. So, I firmly believe the solution must be agreed to this year, and I offer to help in any way that I can.”