Trump sues California over its plan to save its Chinook salmon

California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta are an ecosystem in crisis due to massive water diversions that jeopardize fish and wildlife, including native Chinook salmon runs and the thousands of fishing jobs that depend on them. The number of adult salmon returning to the San Joaquin basin plummeted from 70,000 in 1984 to a mere 10,000 in 2017. In December, the State Water Board adopted new standards to increase river flows in the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers, but the Trump administration isn’t having it. The U.S. Department of Justice sued California in March to block the state’s new policy. Conservationists say that’s way off base, as the increased river flows are needed to sustain salmon and healthy rivers and correct a long-standing imbalance in the amount of water being diverted. As NRDC’s California water expert Doug Obegi says, the state’s new standards improve conditions but won’t do enough to achieve the goal to getting 78,000 salmon returning to the three rivers. Plain and simple: The fish need water. 

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