Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, in October 2019 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) of the Trump Administration issued a new Biological Opinion (BiOp) for coordinated operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project (2019 USFWS BiOp). The 2019 USFWS BiOp issued by the Trump Administration found that anticipated water project operations would not jeopardize the survival of the endangered delta smelt, a fish species dependent on low-salinity conditions and found only in the brackish estuary where the freshwater of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers mix with the seawater of the San Francisco Bay. The “no jeopardy” determination in the 2019 USFWS BiOp contrasted with the previous 2008 USFWS BiOp, which found that anticipated water project operations would likely push the endangered delta smelt into extinction due to elevated salinity levels.
Popularly referred to by the general public in Washington State as “the culvert case,” Washington v. United States (“Washington V”) has ramifications beyond the removal of barrier culverts precluding safe fish passage. This case brought together several lingering and hotly contested legal issues
Skylar Sumner* This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate (ELRS). I. Introduction The history of the American west is inextricably intertwined with damming rivers. Whether for navigation, irrigation, or hydroelectric power, nearly every American river has been dammed. In fact, stretching back to the day the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence,
Andrew Miller Andrew Miller is the 2017-2018 Senior Articles Editor for Ecology Law Quarterly. This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate (ELRS). [ Click Here to Comment ] [ download PDF ] Introduction In March of 2015, the Associated Press (AP) published AP Investigation: Slaves May Have Caught the Fish You Bought.