Give our fish some water!

We are drying up our rivers and killing off our fish. Not just a few fish, but entire fish species—like salmon--that anchor the rest of the food web. This is occurring throughout our San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary, from the mighty rivers and tributaries that feed it to the Gulf of the Farallones. Who or what is to blame for the reduced water in our rivers, when Californians made such great strides in reducing their water use during the drought?[1]

The answer: our outdated state water regulations, formulated 20 years ago in a different era, do not address the problems faced by the Bay-Delta Estuary today.

Climate change, an historic drought, and plummeting populations of endangered species demand swift action to reverse decades of inaction by our state regulatory agencies. But wealthy water districts are putting intense political pressure on these agencies to maintain unsustainable water diversions from the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary and its tributaries.

As humans, we can adapt to change and reduce our water needs through conservation, efficiency, reuse and recycling, and other strategies. But our rivers and the San Francisco Bay don’t have that luxury: they need cold, fresh water flowing through them to survive. They need stronger regulations to help protect and recover endangered fish and wildlife, like the Chinook salmon, longfin smelt, and the 7-foot long North American green sturgeon.

With the changing of the guard in Washington, DC, strong state regulations and decisions will be the best, and possibly only, source of protection for our fish and wildlife, and even more importantly for the water quality and health of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. After getting delayed for decades, state water regulations are being updated now! Protecting and enhancing freshwater flows to the Bay-Delta Estuary should be an important issue for all. We need to make sure these regulations protect our fish, wildlife, wetlands, and the place that over seven million Californians call home.

You can help Friends of the San Francisco Estuary improve flow conditions in rivers that feed the Bay and Delta and save our fish and our home!

[1] Californians Save Nearly 1.19 Million Acre-Feet of Water, Enough to Supply Nearly 6 Million People for a Year

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