Forms for Sending NMFS Pumping Waivers Campaign letters
The problem: The California droughts of 2012 and 2013 have put the salmon seasons of 2015 and 2016 in serious jeopardy. In low water years like these, smolt survival in the Sacramento River and in the Delta is very low. Very few of them get to the ocean. We will pay the price in 2015 and 2016 when these fish would have matured and would have been there to catch.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has compounded the problem by waiving the 2009 biological restrictions in the Delta and allowing export pumping to increase right in the middle of the peak smolt migrations through the Delta. As a result, millions of endangered winter-run, spring-run and also non-listed fall-run smolts are being sucked to the pumps and will perish. This increases the possibility that the 2015 and 2016 salmon seasons will be cancelled the way they were in 2008 and 2009.
The pumping changes have been orchestrated by the San Joaquin Valley water contractors who have spent millions in lobbying congress. One of them, the Westlands Water District, which, according to OpenSecrets.org, spent $600,000 last year in hiring four Washington DC lobbying firms to influence key congressmen and senators to support their water grab. They also made $172,000 of direct contributions to legislators and spent another $1 million in hiring a PR firm to run an "outreach awareness" campaign.
It's time to get mad again and fight back. We can't match the money but thousands of letters to our legislators and to NMFS can turn the situation around. We did it in 2006 when thousands of letters and emails turned around the ocean closure from the Klamath River and we did it again in 2011 when they proposed to eradicate the striped bass in the Delta. The Water4Fish letter campaigns helped lead the way on both of these programs.
Please help make this mass protest successful by sending a letter or email to the leaders of the National Marine Fisheries Service who caved into Westlands and the others. Your emails will go to the Secretary of Commerce, the head of NOAA which oversees NMFS, the head of NMFS and the Western Regional and California heads of NMFS. A copy will go to Congressman Jared Huffman who chairs the Congressional Salmon Caucus. We have set up a draft email/letter (next page) for your use. Please also send this appeal to your friends and associates and ask them to also send letters.