For several years scientists have shown that excessive water pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta is a major cause of the collapse of California’s salmon fisheries. That’s not just bad news for fish; the loss of salmon has put over 20,000 Californians in the fishing industry out of work.
Unfortunately, it seems that these lessons haven’t sunk in. Recently water exporters asked a federal judge in Fresno to suspend new protections for salmon and steelhead. As soon as the judge granted the request last week, the federal Bureau of Reclamation cranked up the delta pumps. And, no surprise, fish were quickly sucked into the pumps and killed. The exporters have filed more legal suits to strip protections for other fish in the Delta. They claim that they’re trying to protect jobs. The truth is, by damaging the ecosystem they’ll be putting more hard-working Californians out of work. Is that the future we want for our state?