- Leslie E. Wong, Ph.D.President, San Francisco State University
Save Tiburon Salmon Institute
A 42-year legacy of community supported salmon conservation and environmental education is in jeopardy.
The new director of San Francisco State University’s Romberg Tiburon Center (RTC) for Environmental Studies, Ms. Karina Nielsen, recently blocked the planned release of 8,000 young salmon, putting at risk the survival of the smolts, into the waters off of RTC.
She also abruptly evicted the Tiburon Salmon Institute (TSI) from RTC where TSI houses its administrative office and student marine center.
The community backlash from these callous decisions is widespread and growing. The Romberg Center's own Advisory Board has joined Congressman Jared Huffman, State Senator Mike McGuire, County Supervisor Kate Sears, and numerous other local elected officials, community leaders, educators and conservation groups in calling on SFSU President Leslie Wong to do the right thing and reverse this terrible decision.
So far SFSU has not heeded these requests.
Protecting a Fragile Fishery
Our fragile salmon population is hanging by a thread with juvenile survival threatened by drought and human impact.
TSI connects students and schools throughout the Bay Area with salmon and bay habitat in creative hands-on ways. Partnering with state and federal agencies and local educators, this community-based non-profit program truly makes a difference. TSI manages a decades-old salmon rearing pen program which has released more than 1 million salmon into the fishery. With North Bay Trout Unlimited, TSI brings salmonid education to the classroom. And each year, TSI organizes its popular KISS AND RELEASE event for the community which helps to release 2,000 young salmon. Some of their participants have gone on to become professional conservationists, environmental educators and fish biologists.
Now more than ever, we need the environmental education and conservation work of TSI at RTC. For example, the 8,000 young salmon that were rejected by RTC, were released when TSI coordinated their release at a local marina.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration allows TSI to operate out of its warehouse at the site -- and there is plenty of space at the under-utilized and partially-abandoned 36-acre property.
Moreover, TSI's programs squarely match RTC's stated mission of environmental education and conservation -- much more so, in fact, than RTC tenants like the SFSU art and ceramics program and DuPont USA.
An Unclear Future for RTC
Director Nielsen has made it clear to TSI that despite the group's efforts to address her stated concerns about safety and liability, she simply wants them gone. Meanwhile, SFSU's plans for RTC are unclear.
Since January, 2015, a commercial real estate firm retained by SFSU has been quietly offering the entire Romberg property for sale, unbeknownst to the community and to RTC's own Advisory Board. When a concerned Tiburon resident discovered the listing a few days ago and asked the SFSU President's office about it, the listing was quickly pulled from the internet.
Whatever their plans for RTC, SFSU should treat TSI fairly. Every prior administration at SFSU and RTC has supported TSI. If the university takes seriously RTC's stated mission, it should value TSI's community-supported environmental education and salmon conservation work -- at least as much it does the SFSU art and ceramics program and DuPont USA.
TSI Can Address Raised Concerns
TSI remains committed to addressing any and all reasonable concerns by RTC or SFSU in order to continue its vital, community-supported work.
TSI wants to continue educating the next generation of environmental educators, biologists, and salmon advocates.
How You Can Help…
By signing this petition, you are asking SFSU President Leslie Wong to reverse the eviction order, to offer TSI a long-term lease, and to allow TSI to continue its mission -- empowering today's youth to save tomorrow's salmon.
Thank you for your support!
- President, San Francisco State University
Leslie E. Wong, Ph.D.
Save Tiburon Salmon Institute and salmon rearing pen from eviction.
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