Restoring the San Joaquin River will be a mammoth accomplishment. Spending up to $800 million seems like a high price, but the alternative would simply pass enormous cleanup costs along to future generations.
Concentration of agricultural chemicals, polluted drinking water, soil salinization and other consequences would likely post a price tag far higher than projected restoration costs. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund cleanup cost projections for other rivers gives us an idea of the looming taxpayer price tag for past San Joaquin River management.
Congratulations to those with the courage and endurance to stand up for state law that forbids destruction of a fishery by any project operator, including the federal government. The historic salmon run, illegally destroyed, must now be restored. Much credit is due Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Hal Candee with the National Resources Defense Council, who led the legal and political battle.
Our San Joaquin River will once again flow to the sea. Salmon and other species will return to the river near Fresno. Valley crops will grow as a bounty of the San Joaquin River, not under the dark cloud of its destruction.
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Revive the San Joaquin