Critical Habitat Restoration Planned?
California Legislature Passes Bills To Restore Salton Sea…National Audubon Applauds Action of State Lawmakers - Restoration of California`s Largest Lake will Benefit Birds, Wildlife, and the Economy.[ The Salton Sea is located in the southeastern corner of California, which occupies a desert basin known as the Salton Sink. Covering more than 376 square miles, the Sea is actually the state`s largest lake, bigger than both Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake.]
Sacramento, CA, September 11, 2003 - Today, Audubon praised California`s Legislature for passing legislation to restore the Salton Sea, California`s largest lake and home to more than 400 bird species, half of all species found in the United States and Canada. After more than a year of intense negotiations, water agencies, environmental groups, Native Americans, and local communities reached a historic agreement to include Salton Sea restoration in the water transfer agreement. The bills passed today with strong bipartisan support.Governor Davis and the Legislature deserve tremendous praise for making Salton Sea restoration a centrepiece of this agreement, said Executive Director of Audubon California Gerald Secundy. The Salton Sea is internationally significant, providing homes for migratory birds from throughout the Americas, as well as species unique to the lower Colorado River ecosystem. Protecting the great natural heritage embodied by the Sea is all the more critical since California has lost most of the birds` traditional habitat.This historic water transfer agreement establishes an important precedent for future agreements by requiring that transfer parties, rather than the public, pay environmental mitigation costs. Audubon and others originally opposed the transfer agreement because it included $200 million in public funds to pay the mitigation costs. Requiring the parties to cover those costs allows cheaper, more efficient transfers in the future and saves taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.The water transfer agreement is now a win-win for taxpayers and the environment, said Julia Levin, State Policy Director for Audubon California. It begins the process of restoring critical habitat for hundreds of bird species and other endangered species, while freeing up $200 million of public funds that can now be used for the environmental and water supply projects that voters called for when they passed Proposition 50.
4th July 2014