On Dec. 7, the Trinity County Board of Supervisors in Northern California voted to oppose the Newsom administration’s Delta Tunnel project.
The county joins Sacramento, San Joaquin, Yolo, Solano and Contra counties and a wide array of recreational fishing groups, Tribes, environmental organizations, family farmers, Delta residents, Southern California water ratepayers and numerous elected officials in opposition to the project.
The Board officially endorsed the letter opposing the tunnel that was adopted by the Trinity County Fish and Game Advisory Commission.
In the letter, Don Frasier, Chair of the Trinity County Board of Supervisors, said the Commission is “particularly concerned about the draw-downs to the Sacramento River and their potential impact on the already stressed Trinity River.”
“The environment impact statement says that the tunnel will draw an additional 500,000 acre feet from the Sacramento River in normal years, and 200,000 to 300,000 acre feet in dry years,” the letter stated. “An average of 50 percent is already delivered to the Sacramento River for downstate water customers. As a result, the Trinity River’s salmon and trout population has already dramatically dropped to the point their survival is threatened.”
The letter proposes that the Delta Conveyance Project “be postponed until we can be assured the Trinity River is adequately protected. In that event the Commission will reconsider our opposition to the project.”
The Trinity River is the main tributary of the Klamath River, currently the second largest producer of salmon in California. Klamath and Trinity River salmon and steelhead have been central to the culture and livelihoods of the Hoopa Valley, Yurok, Karuk and other tribes along the river since time immemorial.
The vote took place a day after 110 people attended a public meeting on the Delta Tunnel hosted by the Delta Counties Coalition and the Delta Legislative Caucus at the Willow Ballroom in Hood, California. Every single person who spoke opposed the tunnel and criticized the the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the environmental injustice and destruction that it would cause to Delta communities, the ecosystem and fish and wildlife.
The Department of Water Resources, the agency overseeing the Delta Tunnel planning, was invited, but they declined to show up for the event.
In his testimony, attorney Bob Wright said the Delta Tunnel DEIR is “the worst ” that he’s ever seen in his entire career as an attorney.
“You’re supposed to tell the truth. Why does the California Department of Water Resources not tell the truth? This is truly a terrible, terrible deception on the people of the Delta and the people of California,” Wright stated.
Gia Moreno, Hood resident and activist, spoke very eloquently about her involvement in the battle to stop the tunnel:
"I am a mother, an artist, an educator, and I’m tired. I’m tired of coming to these meetings. I’m tired of hearing people from all over the state from all walks of life pour their hearts out in defense of the Delta, I’m tired of being one of those people, and I’m tired of the nonchalant responses that we receive in return. Even though I have become mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from the last few years of this literal life or death fight, I can’t and won’t stop fighting."
You can view the meeting video here, courtesy of Gene Beley.
You can also check out this Sacramento News and Review article highlighting the public meeting hosted by the Delta Counties Coalition and the Delta Legislative Caucus to let residents voice their opinion of the massive and costly 16-year, $16+ billion Delta Conveyance Tunnel Project proposal that would cause irreparable environmental and economic impacts in the Delta.
Comment period for the Delta Tunnel closes Dec. 16
Reminder: The comment period for the Delta Conveyance Project Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) closes on Friday, December 16, 2022. The Draft EIR was released for public review and comment on July 27, 2022.
There are several ways to submit public comment on the Delta Conveyance Project Draft EIR, including by:
Where to Access the Draft EIR
Review Online: www.deltaconveyanceproject.com
Review In-Person: A digital copy of the Draft EIR is available at the following locations:
DWR Office: 3500 Industrial Blvd., Room 117, West Sacramento, CA 95691
Libraries: A full list of libraries across the state where the public can access the Draft EIR can be found here