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Bay Delta Conservation Plan Details Efforts to Protect Endangered Fish

Mar 27, 2013

Delta smelt (file photo)
Credit California Department of Water Resources

California Governor Jerry Brown’s administration released new details today of its plan to protect fish and wildlife in the Sacramento-San-Joaquin Delta. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the plan revolves around new tunnels to carry more water to the Central Valley and southern California. 

The new chapters of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan look at the effects of the project on endangered species like Delta Smelt and Chinook salmon.

Fish and wildlife experts say they don’t expect to see improvement in fish populations every season or life cycle. But they do expect a net gain when combined with habitat restoration and changes in natural water flow patterns.

Bill Jennings with the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance is highly critical of the project.

“You can’t deprive an estuary of half its flow and expect it to survive and frankly, BDCP is essentially a death sentence for one of the great estuaries in the world,” says Jennings.

Jennings says the proposed tunnels to pump water south would have disastrous effects on fish populations. A public hearing on the new chapters is scheduled for April 4th.