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Statement from Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on National Academy of Science's Review of California Bay Delta Water Issues

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, March 19, 2010

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Statement from Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on National Academy of Science’s Review of California Bay Delta Water Issues

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke released the following statement on the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) scientific review of NOAA Fisheries Service biological opinion for the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta system.

“I would like to thank the National Academy of Sciences, the NAS Committee on the Bay Delta, and especially its Chair Dr. Robert Huggett for providing this report on the scientific questions underlying the environmental management for the water operations within the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta system. The Academy can be assured that its findings will be examined carefully by our scientists at NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.

“We are pleased that the National Academy of Sciences’ review found the scientific underpinnings of the reasonable and prudent alternatives (RPAs) to be justified and based on solid science.

“As any science-based organization, we welcome the opportunity to ensure our decisions are made using the best available science. That is why the Department of Commerce and the Department of Interior asked the Academy to take an independent look at, what is by any measure, one of the most complex and scientifically challenging water systems in the country.

“I sincerely appreciate the Academy’s expertise in developing this report and the speed in which it was delivered. We will consider the Academy’s recommendations as we move ahead with this new information, and look forward to continuing our work with the Academy, the Department of the Interior, Members of Congress, and others to restore and protect the Bay-Delta ecosystem.”