[audubon-news] FW: Audubon Applauds Today's Passage of Bills Restoring Salton Sea

  • From: "BIANCHI, John" <JBIANCHI@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <audubon-news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 17:17:59 -0400

> Contact: Julia Levin
> 510/558-0125
> jlevin@xxxxxxxxxxx
> National Audubon Applauds Action of State Lawmakers - 
> Restoration of California> '> s Largest Lake will Benefit Birds, Wildlife, 
> and Economy
> 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 centerpiece 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.> "> 
> 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 latgest lake, bigger than 
> both Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake.
> Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat 
> that supports them.  Our national network of community-based nature centers 
> and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of 
> areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all 
> ages and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences.
> #   #   #

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  • » [audubon-news] FW: Audubon Applauds Today's Passage of Bills Restoring Salton Sea