For Immediate Release: December 6, 2018
Julie Light, Food and Water Watch, 510-992-4083
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta 209-479-2053
San Francisco Bay-Delta Residents Protest Sen. Feinstein’s Water Deal
SAN FRANCISCO – Public interest groups, conservationists, fishermen, and SF Bay-Delta residents delivered a strong message at the San Francisco office of Senator Dianne Feinstein today, “Drop Your Support for the WIIN Act!”
The protesters came from across Northern California to protest Feinstein’s proposed Water Infrastructure Improvement Act for the Nation (WIIN) deal with the Trump Administration and Republican leader Kevin McCarthy. The last-minute rider would be attached to the bill needed to prevent a government shutdown.
The Feinstein-McCarthy deal would extend a drought-era waiver of environmental protections for the SF Bay-Delta. When it was enacted, Feinstein promised the act would sunset after the drought in 2021. The rider would extend those provisions for another seven years, even as native fish species are going extinct.
Opposition to the WIIN Act rider grows
“Here’s a news flash for Brown and Feinstein. The drought is over. The extension only serves to hand the federal government more power over California water politics. It’s the means for Brown and Feinstein to force their will on the state.” The Mercury News, editorial 12/4/18
California Senator Kamala Harris joined the chorus of opposition to the WIIN Act on Wednesday, 12/5/18. “We must invest in sustainable water projects that protect critical ecosystems while also supporting our important agricultural economies across the state,” said Senator Harris. “Extending the controversial and detrimental policies of the WIIN Act is not the way to do this.”
At the rally in San Francisco, speakers gave testimony about the harms this deal would cause.
“We are very disappointed that Senator Feinstein is pushing a water deal that grossly favors corporate agribusiness at the expense of our rivers and water future,” said Adam Scow, California director of Food & Water Watch. “California needs real water solutions that protect the health of our rivers and bay while allowing for responsible agricultural production. The recent rapid expansion of corporate agribusiness in the driest parts of California is placing enormous stress on our precious water supply and is unsustainable.”
“Today is a very difficult day. We would honestly prefer to be doing just about anything rather than protesting against California’s Senior Senator who just won re-election,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta. “But protest we must because the WIIN Act is a betrayal of the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary, its communities, fisheries, salmon, wildlife, responsible California water management, Northern California Indian Tribes, Delta environmental justice communities, the public trust, the public good, and our faith that in the long run that Senator Feinstein would do the right thing.
“This is the ultimate betrayal of California’s environment and people. We urge Senator Feinstein to stop the WIIN Act from advancing and return California water management to the rule of law — to the norms and customs of regular government processes — and to uphold all that she claims to value.”
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.
Restore the Delta fights for a Delta with waters that are fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable, able to support the health of the estuary, San Francisco Bay, and the ocean beyond. Restore the Delta envisions the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as a place where a vibrant local economy, tourism, recreation, farming, wildlife, and fisheries thrive as our waterway commons.