As our followers know, Restore the Delta has been busy supporting SB 1 with protections for Delta species. And we continue to support these goals and the full bill as it was initially written.
However, there are new complications.
Parties with good intentions worked to add strong clean water rules, which we tend to favor as an organization. But these rules are strongly opposed by the Central Valley Flood Control Association because they will interfere with needed dredging and excavating for flood control measures.
We also favor and argue for good flood control measures for protection of human life, climate change mitigation, and ironically water quality protection. (Flood events are not good for water quality.)
We understand that this issue needs to be worked on and resolved in the legislature over the next few days, hence, the time-out. We believe at Restore the Delta that the additional clean water rule went into the bill a bit too late for disparate interests to have time to resolve differences.
We also believe that the best way to improve clean water rules, while performing needed dredging and levee construction, should involve conversations/consensus work/coalition building so that disparate interests can improve outcomes presently, and even get legislation passed that has broad buy-in from multiple interests in river communities.
Nobody who lives near a river wants toxic drinking and irrigation water, dead fish and wildlife, or dangerous floods. We all want clean water, thriving fisheries and wildlife, good flood protection, and floodplain restoration in safe spaces.
What has transpired with SB 1 is a good example of why coalition building, that includes working with folks who see things differently, is important to get things right.
Restore the Delta staffs will continue to monitor SB1. We will watch and advocate for:
- Measures protective of Delta fisheries and species, along with broadly supported environmental standards to stay in the bill;
- That language in conflict with flood control is either removed or modified to gain support of the Central Valley Flood Control Board;
- And that water contractors don’t slip in any poison pills to weaken Delta protections.
Once we know where things stand, we will let you know if you should start once again making calls to either support or oppose the bill.
Seeing that you won’t have any legislative homework this weekend, we recommend enjoying California Biodiversity Day. Click herefor more information.