California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has drawn plenty of ire for the constantly changing Delta Tunnel plan, which has received plenty of pushback from lawmakers and environmental and conservation groups. In a Los Angeles Times column, writer George Skelton’s arguments against the controversial project included the risk for already fragile Chinook salmon. Here’s a sample of Skelton’s piece:
The fishing industry and boaters fear that reducing freshwater flows through the delta will decimate salmon runs and worsen toxic algae that clog waterways in summer.
“The whole system has crashed” for salmon, says Barry Nelson, a consultant for the Golden State Salmon Assn. That’s partly because of giant south delta fish-chomping pumps and government regulations that often deprive baby salmon of strong enough water flows as they try to migrate out to sea.
“The tunnel would allow the [state] to dramatically increase pumping from the Sacramento River system and further decrease the salmon population,” Nelson says.