News Deeply –
In the final days of 2017, President Donald Trump’s administration announced it would consider sending as much water as possible from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to farmers and cities to the south. The notice comes as a follow-up to a speech Trump made in Fresno during his presidential campaign, when he condemned the downstream flow of river water into the ocean as “insane.”
While the state’s agricultural community has welcomed the proposal, issued by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on December 29, fishery advocates have not. They warn that pumping more water out of the Delta will threaten the survival of imperiled salmon runs, as well as the critically endangered Delta smelt.
“Chinook salmon and other fish and wildlife species native to California are already teetering on the brink of extinction because too much water is being diverted from the Delta,” said John McManus, executive director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association, which lobbies to protect rivers, salmon and fishers. He said further reducing the amount of water flowing through the Delta could directly reduce the survival of young salmon, which are born in the upper reaches of the Central Valley’s rivers and depend on strong outflows to safely reach the sea.