No Tunnel Planning During the COVID-19 Crisis. We Can't Fight for Our Lives and Our Water

No Tunnel Planning During the COVID-19 Crisis. We Can't Fight for Our Lives and Our Water

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Save California Salmon ! started this petition to Director, Department of Water Resources Karla Nameth and

In California, while Tribal communities are sheltering in place, non-essential infrastructure decisions that would take more water from our rivers and waterways are moving forward, without our participation. This is unacceptable.

Please help us to ask the Department of Water Resources to delay public processes related to the Delta conveyance and other new large diversions until the public can engage. Our communities literally are fighting for our lives. We should not have to also fight for our water and salmon.  

Most of us can not attend virtual meetings. Many of California's Tribal communities are rural and lack assess to fast internet and power (along with medical facilities and grocery stores). Many of the Tribal and county representatives that would make sure our voices are heard are dealing with the COVID-19 emergency. 

Our communities want to engage and are deeply impact by these decisions. We rely on the impacted rivers for our food, health, and clean water. Over 200 people from at least seven Tribes testified against the Delta Conveyance during the Northern California hearing and many people from disadvantaged and rural communities that deal with illnesses caused by environmental conditions, and that  lack of clean water, testified at the Delta Tunnel hearings in Redding and Stockton.

Our communities are also disproportionately at risk of serious health impacts and death from COVID-19 due to the serious health conditions caused by the lack of fish in Native peoples’ diets, such as diabetes and heart disease, and due to the lack of health resources in coastal and rural communities. We are heavily reliant on commercial fishing and recreational industries and therefore have economic interests that are directly related to California storage and diversions decisions.

Commercial salmon fishermen were barely getting by before the pandemic due to poor water decisions and many have had to give up fishing all together due to poor water management. Up to 90% of California’s salmon fishing fleet has been lost over the last twenty years due to dwindling returns. This has caused serious economic impacts to our communities, and loss of tax revenue to coastal communities and towns. 

Public participation from communities that rely on subsistence fishing, access to clean water, and fishing related economic opportunities are critical to these processes. Not only are impacted communities scared and distracted during this crisis, we lack the resources to engage virtually or are first responders and government employees who are overwhelmed with essential duties that are critical to public safety during the pandemic. 

Right now the vast majority of the California public is focused on surviving and coping with the health and economic effects of the spread of COVID-19. We cannot keep our communities safe and meaningfully engage in public processes related to our salmon returns and water supplies at the same time. Actions such as approving new diversions and major infrastructure projects during a pandemic are non-essential and should therefore be curtailed. 

Please tell the Department of Water Rights to allow us to focus on saving our lives and communities. We can not afford to lose our water and salmon during a pandemic. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!