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Conservation Coalition Outlines Goals for Gov. Newsom’s “Water Portfolio” Plan

For Release: July 2, 2019

Contact: Jon Rosenfeld, San Francisco Baykeeper, 510-684-4757
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053
Kate Poole, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 415-875-6100

Sacramento – A coalition of 55 conservation, fishing, recreation, water policy, and environmental justice groups from throughout California, representing hundreds of thousands of Californians, sent a letter to state officials today thanking the Governor for his “…leadership in tackling California’s water issues.”

The letter expresses support of the Newsom’s Water Portfolio planning process and explains how the groups in the coalition plan to contribute to this new process.

Kate Poole, Senior Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said, “The state of California lacked a sensible water strategy for too long. The Newsom Administration’s water portfolio approach can show the world how fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters are the foundation of a sustainable water future.”

Jon Rosenfield, Senior Scientist with San Francisco Baykeeper said, “The governor’s approach can put us on the path to water sustainability that will provide safe drinking water for all Californians and the flows needed to protect our rivers, lakes, and bays. It would be a terrible irony if water conserved by Portfolio projects were soaked up by wasteful practices that bloat our demand for this limited resource. California doesn’t manage its water well —and that hurts our communities and wildlife.”

“To be successful, the Water Portfolio plan must accomplish two goals,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta. “First, it needs to reduce reliance on Delta water use. Second, it must create regional water projects that solve water challenges experienced by environmental justice communities from the North Coast down to Chula Vista while producing local green jobs throughout the state.”

Excerpts from the Letter:

“The ‘water resilience portfolio’ (Water Portfolio) described in your April 29 Order offers the State the opportunity to set us on the course towards sustainable water resources management that would ensure fishable, swimmable, and drinkable waters for all Californians. Many of our organizations plan to engage with your administration to offer specific proposals for projects that will deploy limited water resources more efficiently.

“The old models of California water policy are failing to serve the public interest, even if they serve private interests. The Water Portfolio should establish a new model for managing California’s water, grounded in the public interest and long-term sustainability.”

“The two main concerns in developing a Portfolio Plan, according to the coalition are:

  1. Guaranteeing safe and affordable clean drinking water for all Californians; and
  2. Protecting and restoring healthy rivers and the Bay-Delta estuary, and the public benefits that they provide.”

The letter concludes:
“We look forward to working with your administration to help create a statewide Water Portfolio that establishes a new culture of water use in California built on sustainable policies and infrastructure.”

Audubon California
California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
Friends of the River
Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Associations
Restore the Delta
San Francisco Baykeeper
Sierra Club California
South Yuba River Citizens League
The Bay Institute
Natural Resources Defense Council
The Nature Conservancy
Alameda Creek Alliance
American River Conservancy
American Whitewater
California Striped Bass Association
California Striped Bass Association, West Delta Chapter
Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center
California Wilderness Coalition
Cal Trout
Center for Biological Diversity
Coast Action Group
Clean Water Action
California Water Impact Network (C-WIN)
Endangered Habitats League
Environmental Water Caucus
Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
Fly Fishers of Davis
Foothill Conservancy
Friends of Harbors, Beaches & Parks
Golden Gate Salmon Association
Golden West Women Flyfishers
Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce
Greywater Action
Institute for Fisheries Resources
Little Manila Rising
Los Angeles Waterkeeper
Lower Sherman Island Duck Hunters Association
Merced River Conservation Committee
Mono Lake Committee
Nature in the City
Northern California Council, Fly Fishers International
Protect American River Canyons
Reinvent South Stockton Coalition
Reinvent Stockton Foundation
San Francisco League of Conservation Voters
San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Social Eco Education
Southern California Watershed Alliance
The River Project
Third City Coalition
Tuolumne River Conservancy, Inc.
Tuolumne River Trust
Ventura Coastkeeper
Winnemem Wintu Tribe
Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation

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