For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013
Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546; [email protected]; Twitter: @shopcraft; @MrSandHillCrane;
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla 209/479-2053; [email protected]; Twitter: @Restorethedelta
Agency Officials Continue to Exclude Delta Views from Government-led Tours;
Water Agencies, Tunnel Proponents Misrepresent Delta To Outside Interests in Push To Build The Peripheral Tunnels
Stockton, CA — Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today called on the State of California Resources Agency, the Metropolitan Water District, the Department of Water Resources and other public agencies, as well as groups like the Commonwealth Club, Valley Vision, and others sponsoring tours and public forums on the proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), to ensure that Delta residents and their views are included.
Restore the Delta Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said, “Almost every day, there’s another busload being led through the Delta by the State, public water exporters, and others pushing the governor’s water export tunnels. We welcome the interest, but protest that these tours ignore and exclude those who live here and are experts on how the tunnels would decimate this region. Last week, BDCP officials hosted representatives from Almaden Valley and Santa Clara Valley on another bus tour of the Delta in which they touted the supposed habitat benefits of the peripheral tunnels project. Yet, they never included Delta representatives on this tour, or explained that Federal fisheries agencies – the ones that will be asked to permit the Peripheral Tunnels project – don’t think that the proposed BDCP can be operated to ensure the recovery of threatened and endangered species. Instead, they continue with their tax-payer funded propaganda campaign to sell various water agency officials on paying for this $54 billion project, touring through our towns and farms as if they are already under state control.”
Last week, the Commonwealth Club sponsored a forum on BDCP that included not one opponent or critic. Today, the Latino Water Coalition hosted a tour for California legislative staff to tout the peripheral tunnels. Again, Delta communities were invaded by another bus tour. But no Delta resident was allowed to explain how our annual $5.2 billion agricultural economy would be sacrificed – along with our Delta and coastal multi-billion dollar fishing economy – for the benefit of corporate agribusiness growers like those in the Westlands Water District. Delta farmers, residents, marina owners, and farm workers are excluded from the opportunity to voice their concerns during these state-sanctioned tours. Instead, the tours are conducted as if we don’t exist. This is a misuse of public funds, and misinforms the public by excluding critics.”