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: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.