On Wednesday, July 5th, fishermen and women, Tribal members, environmental organizations and concerned Californians from north to south took to the steps and halls of the State capitol to fight for water justice and our salmon fishery.
As the rally commenced outside with 250-300 attendees, lobbying teams comprised of volunteers and led by Golden State Salmon Association (GSSA), Restore the Delta, Defenders of Wildlife, San Francisco Baykeeper, Save California Salmon, Sierra Club California and other organizations met with 104 State Assemblymembers and Senators – advocating, in the shadow of the State’s 2023 salmon season closure, for the Newsom Administration and policymakers to prioritize the protection of California’s water and salmon. The Bay-Delta ecosystem and its fisheries are vital to tens of thousands of the State’s residents who directly rely upon salmon for community, culture and jobs.
The coalition delivered a comprehensive message that included promoting:
- The State Water Board’s completion of the Bay-Delta Plan and protection of in-stream flows given the rising threat to public and ecosystem health.
- An update to the Bay-Delta Plan before considering a change in point-of-diversion for the Delta Conveyance Project or new water right for the Sites Reservoir. Its water quality standards must set minimum instream flow, water temperature, and other criteria that protect beneficial uses.
- Protective standards for fish and wildlife that includes adequate flows and water temperatures supportive of salmon in all life stages.
- Prioritizing salmon restoration by providing water for fish and dam removal.
- Creation of post-Trump-era water plans and Biological Opinions that recover ESA listed species in the Bay Delta and on the Trinity River.
The Day of Action for Water Justice and Salmon is a direct result of California’s broken water management system. This is especially evident in the Bay-Delta and its watersheds. Communities across the state are facing environmental, health, and cultural burdens related to poor water quality and lack of river flows. California’s 2023 salmon season has been closed, which is negatively impacting jobs, businesses and families, and could have been avoided.
GSSA thanks all our members and supporters who attended and volunteered at the event as well as the efforts of all the coalition partners and their dedication to restoring salmon and the Bay-Delta watershed.