SalmonAid Coalition calls on Obama Administration to lead restoration effortsSalmonAid 2008 with Les Claypool and the dancing Busters breakin' it down for salmon!
Oakland, CA — Gathering under the banner: “Restore Rivers, Recover Salmon, Rebuild Jobs”, a coalition of commercial and recreational fishermen, First Nations Tribes, conservation organizations, biologists, and slow food chefs have come together to rally the public and raise awareness for the salmon crisis. The 2009 SalmonAID Festival, held in Oakland’s Jack London Square this weekend, responds to the unprecedented collapse of wild salmon along the Pacific Coast, and the closure of the salmon fishing season along the Pacific Coast throughout California and most of Oregon.
“Until recently, commercial and recreational salmon fishing and related businesses have been contributing billions of dollars to the economy of our coastal states, and they have the potential to generate billions more,” said Captain Mike Hudson, a commercial fisherman and president of the Small Boat Commercial Salmon Fishermen’s Association. “For too long, government agencies charged with protecting salmon have failed to address the fundamental problems which have led to this disaster. We need leadership from the White House to align government agencies and prioritize salmon recovery.”
SalmonAid’s nearly three-dozen member organizations are calling for progress towards removing outdated dams on several rivers, reducing water diversions, and enforcement of existing environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act. Some recent actions indicate that policy-makers are moving in the right direction.
According to Joseph Bogaard, Outreach Director for Save Our Wild Salmon in Seattle, “On the Columbia-Snake River, the Obama Administration has asked a federal court for more time to review current federal policy, which suggests they want to look at the science and are interested in exploring real solutions that work for salmon, communities, and taxpayers nationwide.”
Dr. Jon Rosenfield, Conservation Biologist for the Bay Institute agreed, saying, “In the last few years, Sacramento River salmon have been beset by record high water withdrawals from the San Francisco Bay-Delta and over-allocation of water supplies from dams in the Central Valley. We are encouraged by the new National Marine Fisheries Service plan that calls for better water management and forward-thinking solutions to restoring our watersheds.” He went on to add, “We expect Congress to follow this lead and work to find solutions that will recover our rivers and the species and jobs they support rather than falling back to the tired "jobs vs. environment" rhetoric of the past 8 years.”
The two-day SalmonAid festival kicks off Friday at 4:30pm with a traditional salmon bake, hosted by Klamath River tribes.
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For more information about the festival visit: www.salmonaid.org