SANTA CRUZ — State and federal agencies negotiating with Santa Cruz over fish-habitat protection say the city has not thoroughly studied alternatives to a proposed seawater desalination facility designed to boost water supply.
Letters from the National Marine Fisheries Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife critiquing an environmental evaluation of the now-stalled desal project say the city should explore the cumulative potential of its own infrastructure improvements and regional coordination.
The agencies — whose requests for improved river and stream flows have been cited by the city as a primary reason for pursuing desal — say a host of additional alternatives were rejected without adequate investigation.
The regulators have not taken a position on desal, but are among a host of agencies that would have some permitting authority over the plant.
"Unfortunately, the alternatives analysis does not appear to thoroughly evaluate alternatives recommended by the NMFS and CDFW through more than 10 years of technical assistance provided to the city" in the development of a fish conservation plan, the federal agency said in its letter.
Read the full story at the Santa Cruz Sentinel>>
National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14
In this episode:
NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first
NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.