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ESAblawg is an educational effort by Keith W. Rizzardi. Correspondence with this site does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Photos or links may be copyrighted (but used with permission, or as fair use). ESA blawg is published with a Creative Commons License.

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florida gators... never threatened!

If you ain't a Gator, you should be! Alligators (and endangered crocs) are important indicator species atop their food chains, with sensitivity to pollution and pesticides akin to humans. See ESA blawg. Gator blood could be our pharmaceutical future, too. See ESA musing.


Follow the truth.

"This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, December 27, 1820.


Thanks, Kevin.

KEVIN S. PETTITT helped found this blawg. A D.C.-based IT consultant specializing in Lotus Notes & Domino, he also maintains Lotus Guru blog.

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NRDC v. Kempthorne: the Delta Smelt / OCAP decision

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Natural Resources Defense Council vs. Kempthorne, 2007 WL 4462395 (E.D.Cal., Dec. 14, 2007), and Interim Remedial Order..  After oral statement granting preliminary injunction to plaintiffs, Court requested that parties submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the "Operating Criteria and Plan" (OCAP) for the Federal Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project in the Sacramento Delta, and its impacts on the threatened Delta Smelt.  On December 14, 2007, the Court ordered the following relief:  
    (1) FWS must complete a new biological opinion (BiOp); (2) the prior BiOp was not vacated (thus, continued operations of the CVP and SWP did not violate the ESA); (3) surveys and monitoring of Delta Smelt would continue, with increased frequency; (4) the Court set limitations on flows to protect delta smelt, and among other measures, specifically addressed, (a) winter pulse flows, and (b) pre-spawning periods, and (c) larval and juvenile Delta Smelt. (Estimated impacts of this activity, according to an Intervenors' power point presentation, range from a 3-19% reduction in "project exports", or water withdrawals from the watershed).  
    In addition, the Federal Defendants were ordered to continue the implementation of additional measures to protect Delta Smelt, including (a) the Bureau of Reclamation will not execute any long-term water service contracts with CVP contractor until the new Biological Opinion is completed; (b) the Bureau of Reclamation will not complete any new construction activities and long-term projects in the Delta until the new Biological Opinion is completed;  (c) the Bureau of Reclamation will “not increase exports from the south Delta and will operate Jones Pumping Plant within recent historical limits;” and (d) the Bureau committed resources and staff to the continuing study of pelagic organism decline in the Delta.  
   The Court's order included an important exception: "This Interim Remedial Order shall not prevent Interior, Reclamation, or DWR from taking any action in operating the Projects that is reasonably necessary to protect human health or safety of the public, including, but not limited to, any act or omission reasonably necessary to protect the structural integrity of any CVP and SWP facility."

Delta smelt sketch and distribution map, from California Department of Fish & Game

Author's Note:

On January 10, 2008, the U.S. FWS reported that the Delta Smelt Fall Survey Shows Continued Decline of Delta Fish, to a record low level according to the annual fall Delta fish survey.          


Noteworthy Resources
  • U.S. FWS, Sacramento Office, Delta Smelt Recovery Page
  • See also,, "Sacramento Delta: Now What?" (Oct. 31,2007)