DELTA FARMERS, FISHERMEN AND RESIDENTS DELIVER STRONG MESSAGE TO BAY DELTA CONSERVATION PLAN LEADERS: DELTA FARMS AND FISHERIES,THE HEART OF CALIFORNIA’S ECONOMY, MUST BE PROTECTED!
Stockton, California — Numerous Restore the Delta supporters will be reminding California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird and Department of Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes that they have left been left out of the development of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan — a process driven by water contractors who seek to build a peripheral canal or tunnel to divert the Sacramento River to the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.
This reminder will be delivered to Secretary Laird and Deputy Secretray David Hayes at today’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan Public Meeting at 1 pm at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria in Sacramento, despite the meeting agenda not including an official public comment period.
Delta farmers and fishermen who disagree with the construction of the peripheral canal have been barred from participating in Bay Delta Conservation Plan Steering Committee activities because they would not sign a memorandum of understanding several years ago agreeing to the objective of building new conveyance.
According to Restore the Delta Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, “Delta representatives have been blocked from engaging in an earnest dialogue with those who want to see the peripheral canal built. The process has never allowed for a conversation to see if a third way can be found to seek real solutions for protecting the Delta and securing California’s water future.”
Although the Bay Delta Conservation Plan has been financed by public regulated entities, like the Westlands Water District and the Metropolitan Water District, it is being administrated by the California Natural Resources Agency, a public agency. Barrigan-Parrilla adds, “Resource Agency Deputy Director Jerry Meral has said in various venues that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan will now be broken down into 14 subgroups that will not meet with each other. The fate of Delta residents, farmers, and fisheremen is being decided for us by everyone on the outside, under the direction of a public agency. This is unacceptable and this is what we are going to convey today. What we are having hoisted on us is a backroom deal for a peripheral canal, dressed up as new conveyance.”
Restore the Delta advocates for a more comprehensive and thoughtful approach to address the state’s water needs, including projects that safeguard the Bay, the Delta, the environment, and the people of California. Restore the Delta believes it’s time to create hundreds of local projects to help each region of California meet its water needs.