East Bay reps seek quick action in Delta protection projects

Four East Bay members of Congress urged California Department of Water Resources Director Lester Snow to move quickly on several pilot projects that could help severely declining fish populations in the Delta.

Reps George Miller of Martinez, Jerry McNerney of Pleasanton, Ellen Tauscher of Alamo and Mike Thompson of St. Helena signed a letter today recommending swift action — by summer 2009 — on the two-gate fish protection demonstration project near Franks Tract and positive barrier fish screens at Clifton Court Forebay. The projects are included in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Strategic Growth Plan for the Delta.

“We recognize the experimental nature of the pilot projects but they appear to be innovative approaches to benefit the Delta ecosystem and improve water supply reliability for the 25 million Californians who rely on the Delta,” they wrote.

The four pledged to help expedite the federal permitting process and asked Snow to place the projects on the “fast track so we can see results this coming year when Delta operations, water supplies and fisheries will be critically impacted.”