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Brave Delta Souls, Good News, But Crucial Work To Finish

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We recognize that we are guilty of over communication with you all presently. But these next two weeks are crucial for running down the clock on the Brown Administration and for stopping a bad water bargain via Senator Feinstein’s WIIN Act. We have to ensure that plans are not put in place that are immediately detrimental to the Delta in exchange for even worse plans — the Delta tunnels. But we have made significant progress with the California Department of Water Resources withdrawing its consistency determination from the Delta Stewardship Council to rework outstanding concerns around California WaterFix.

This is an important victory for our coalition, including the City of Stockton, San Joaquin County, Central Delta Water Agency, Local Agencies of the North Delta, Restore the Delta, Friends of the River, California Water Research, and California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. Congratulations to our very smart partners. Everyone take a victory lap around your electronic device while reading this!

This week at Restore the Delta, we also did the following:

  • 1) We continued to prepare extensive written comments for  the State Water Contractor contract extensions for CA WaterFix. We, along with several other partners, successfully pushed the State to extend the comment deadline an additional 30 days, until January 9, 2019.

  • 2) We intensified and extended our public campaign to push back against the WIIN ACT — a backroom deal between Governor Jerry Brown, SJ Valley Republicans, Senator Feinstein and the Trump Administration — to allow more pumping from the Delta in exchange for keeping the Delta tunnels project alive after Governor Brown leaves office. We have help from hundreds of supporters (like you) calling, emailing and tweeting Senator Feinstein from around the state.

  • 3) We worked with media, our partners, and quickly organized a strategic protest in front of Senator Feinstein’s office to help keep the pressure on to drop support of the #WIIN Act.

  • 4) We are organizing groups from around the Delta to attend and participate in the December 12, 2018 State Water Resources Control Board hearing for improved flows for Phase I of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Plan.

  • 5) We sent the following letter to California Resources Secretary John Laird asking for a reconsideration of meeting schedules and pointing out the lack of financial transparency around WaterFix.  You can read that letter here. At the end of this email, you can read a media round up of all that happened on these water topics.

  • 6) We, along with other groups, were able to convince Senator Harris to oppose the #WIIN Act. Here is a link to her statement.

We thank our supporters for their donations helping us finish this important effort. For those who have not yet contributed, we ask for your year-end financial assistance to hold the line during this critical time. We are not out of the woods in terms of treasure or work yet. To continue this work, we ask that you take a few minutes, find the year-end mailer that we sent you, and make your donation to Restore the Delta today. 

We also have updates for supporters who are making calls, writing emails, visiting elected officials, and sending Tweets.

1) Senator Feinstein’s office is now claiming that the Delta Tunnels are not on the table, that the #WIIN is all about water storage, and the drought. It is going to take a huge effort this coming week for us to fight back against the WIIN ACT.

Our reply: Simply not true. If this were true, why would the Senator be working with lame duck Governor Brown and the lame duck GOP Congress, and not waiting to create a water sustainability plan with the newly elected Dem House of Representatives in January? Also, why is the Senator pushing a plan based on raw power when the State Water Resources Control Board is poised to make a ruling after nine years of detailed hearings. So just tell her staff exactly that. Don’t be fooled. Keep calling, writing, and tweeting up until the Christmas break. We promise to let you know when to stop!

Below you will find the numbers to Senator Feinstein’s Federal and State offices. Please keep your messages polite and professional. We want to represent the Delta well.

  • Washington D.C. Office: (202) 224-3841
  • San Francisco Office: (415) 393-0707
You can also email her Water Policy staff member, John Watts, at [email protected].

2) Don’t forget to thank Senator Kamala Harris for doing the right thing by opposing the WIIN Act, and support her statement calling for sustainable water legislation. You can read her statement here.  You can thank her by sending a tweet to @SenKamalaHarris or send her an email here.3) Prepare for and attend the State Water Resources Control Board Hearing for the ruling on Phase I of the Bay-Delta Plan. While Restore the Delta has, and continues to advocate for 50% unimpaired flows on the San Joaquin River & holding the present salinity standard, we do not think that this is the time to allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. We do not want the SWRCB delaying their ruling any longer because standards will be weakened further by backroom deals. Parties that are going to litigate will litigate; we don’t need for the ruling to be made even weaker for litigation.

Show up early (8:30 a.m.) on 12/12 at the State Water Resources Control Board ready for a long hearing and ready to make comments. These hearings are held at the CA EPA Building, 1001 I Street, Sacramento.

Below you will find the links for the news articles and a photo round-up of our protest. This week is going to be a day-by-day of scenario of being up, being down, being up. We all will have to quickly adjust our sails and respond as needed.

Photos from our protest in front of Senator Feinstein’s San Francisco office can be found here.

Delta tunnels won’t get green light before Gov. Brown leaves office. What will Gavin Newsom do? – Dale Kasler & Ryan Sabalow, The Sacramento Bee

New water deal isn’t a political certainty – Dan Walters, CalMatters
“It’s a game of political chicken. Implicitly, Brown is telling farmers to make a deal with him rather than take their chances on his successor, Gavin Newsom, who might not be as willing, and on a water board that’s poised, with strong support from environmental groups, to shift a lot of their water from fields into the Delta.”

Kamala Harris opposes WIIN Act deal – Twitter
“We must invest in sustainable water projects that protect critical ecosystems while also supporting our important agricultural economies across the state. Extending the controversial and detrimental policies of the WIIN Act is not the way to do this.”

Editorial: Brown, Feinstein betrayal of Delta is unacceptable –  The Mercury News
California must stop effort to hand more control of Delta water to federal government
“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.”

SF Bay Delta Residents Protest Sen Feinstein’s Water Deal – Maven’s Notebook
“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.”

Environmental Activists Rally at the San Francisco Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein
KPFA (Story at 38:50)

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla is director of the group, Restore the Delta: “Senator Feinstein, Governor Brown, and GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy have struck a grand bargain. They’re more like the Un-Holy Trinity of water in California. They believe that you can just, in the short term, overpump the Delta, build dams to hold water and deplete Northern California rivers, build the tunnels because the WIIN Act provides the federal funding for the Delta Tunnels (which Feinstein says she opposed).”

You are what keeps us going. We all know the rightness of our cause, the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary and sustainable California water policy. Let’s be proud that we have worked everything last effort as hard as possible to protect its future. We have a major victory under our belt. Let’s stop these bad plans, and get California and the Delta on the path to water sustainability.

Yours in Service,

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla

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