Washington, DC -- Senator Dianne Feinstein today announced her intention to attach an unrelated amendment to the Senate jobs bill that would waive Endangered Species Act protections in California’s Bay-Delta. Such a provision would hurt jobs in already-suffering fishing communities, and would destroy the science-based path to a durable water solution for region.
Andrew Fahlund, senior vice president for conservation at American Rivers, made the following statement:
“The ESA protects jobs and communities that depend on salmon runs and healthy rivers. Fishing communities are already suffering, and this rider would mean thousands of job losses for many more families. It could be the end of the west coast salmon fishery, which supports billions of dollars in economic activity.”
“We need long-term water solutions for the region’s farm workers and fishing communities, not special deals for agribusiness billionaires. Over-riding the science-based protections of the Endangered Species Act would take us backwards toward more fighting and uncertainty, not forward toward a more sustainable future.”
“Out-of-work fishermen and farm workers are all the victims of outdated water policies and drought. We should help these communities with disaster assistance now, and we must work toward a comprehensive solution to give them long-term water security. This ESA over-ride won't solve their problems but instead will make the problems of Delta communities even worse."
American Rivers named the Sacramento-San Joaquin River system as the nation’s Most Endangered River for 2009. We remain committed to achieving a collaborative, science-based solution through the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) process. If not derailed by legislation that dismantles ESA protections, the BDCP will develop a long-term solution to this crisis by the end of this year. Any long-term resolution must protect the Delta and the thousands of fishing and recreation jobs it supports as well as the water supplies that the agricultural community depends on.
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.