To Governor Gray Davis, September 2002
|Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 199
Gualala CA 95445
September 7, 2002
Honorable Gray Davis
Governor of the State of California
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Dear Governor Davis:
Please join with the more than 150 business members of the Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce and other citizens of northern California in supporting Assembly Bill 858 by Assembly Member Patricia Wiggins.
As you are probably aware, an Alaskan water developer has proposed taking so-called “excess” water from the mouths of the Albion and Gualala Rivers, siphoning it into huge bladders the size of three football fields and towing these bags by tug boats south for use by the City of San Diego’s increasing water needs. While filling, the bags will be tethered at a docking buoy just off the coastline in full view of both residents and visitors, well within the sea lanes used by migrating Grey Whales.
AB 858 ensures that no permit can be granted for water export from north coast rivers, without a study by the University of California regarding what the impact would be from diverting billions of gallons of water from these fragile watersheds, the Gualala River already documented as “impaired”, and the habitats they support.
The state of California has spent millions of dollars to restore that habitat and the salmon and steelhead populations. How will these habitats be affected? What will happen if our violent Pacific storms free the bags from the docking buoy and they wash onshore? Will they interfere with migrating whale populations? Will they pose a danger to boating? Will taking water from this river adversely affect the ongoing Steelhead restoration project and estuary studies, the commercial and private recreational use and water needs of our growing coastal population? These and numerous other questions must be answered before any such permit can be considered.
We the members of the Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce respectfully urge you to support and sign AB 858 and protect the people of the north coast from significant environmental damage to local rivers, watersheds and species.
Jan Harris, President