California slashes habitat restoration on Delta tunnel

California officials have dramatically scaled back the habitat restoration promised during construction of two massive, ill-conceived tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to send water to farms and millions of people.

California Department of Fish and Game Director Chuck Bonham says that the project now calls for restoring only 30,000 acres for wetland and wildlife habitat; down from the originally-promised 100,000 acres.

Bonham said the amount of land targeted for environmental improvements was revised because there was “too much complexity” in the original 50-year plan, given the need to get permits from federal wildlife agencies against a backdrop of uncertain future climate change impacts.

The originally-promised environmental improvements were projected to cost $8 billion worth of environmental improvements were originally promised, in order to get public approval for the project. Now that it’s approved, officials have now reduced that to only $300 million. [photo credit: Coalition for a Sustainable Delta]

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