Library Search

An adult delta smelt.
(Dale Kolke / California Department of Water Resources)
Article: Victory February 13, 2019

Trump Official Working to Steer California’s Water to a Greedy Few

The Supreme Court upheld protections for a tiny fish, preserving an important tenet of the Endangered Species Act. Now the Trump administration wants to undo that victory.

Fisherman Jose Chi holds up a salmon, caught during the spring 2014 run, at Fort Bragg, CA.
(Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)
Press Release November 10, 2015

Illegal Diversion of Water Threatens to End Chinook Salmon Survival in California

Conservationists sue U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Rice Growers for mismanagement leading to demise of near-extinct salmon

Farms along the Delta in California.
(Paul Hames / California Department of Water Resources)
Press Release: Victory January 12, 2015

Supreme Court Upholds Delta Smelt Protections, Denies Industry Attack on Critical Endangered Species Act Protections

Agriculture industry’s attempts to erode protection of species for economic gain fall short

Fisherman Jose Chi holds up a salmon, caught during the spring 2014 run, at Fort Bragg, CA.
(Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)
Article April 28, 2014

Why “Fish Vs. Farmers” Is a False Dichotomy

California water management is not about protecting animals over people. It’s about coddling powerful special interests at the expense of average citizens, Delta farmers, commercial and sport fisherfolk—and a healthy Delta ecosystem.

Press Release April 16, 2014

Judges Overturn Long-Term Central Valley Water Contracts Citing Endangered Species Protection

Court unanimously throws out earlier rulings that failed to consider imperiled delta smelt

Press Release March 13, 2014

Court Upholds Protections of California Bay Delta Fish Species on the Brink of Extinction

Three-judge panel maintains water management plan that aids delta smelt

Brett Baker, a sixth generation farmer in the Delta, in his pear orchard.
(Brad Zweerink for Earthjustice)
Article February 24, 2014

A Pear Farm On The Frontlines of California’s Water Wars

Notes from a trip to the San Francisco Bay Delta to hear stories from people who would be directly impacted by a plan to pump massive amounts of freshwater out of the Delta to farms in the southern Central Valley.

Press Release October 31, 2011

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Challenge to Delta Smelt Protections

Victory for Endangered Species Act advocates who fought to keep the species listed

Article June 16, 2011

Awash In Water and Profits, Cal Growers Denied More

The fight over the health of the Sacramento/Bay delta is a fight over the most important estuary on the west coast of north America.

Press Release November 30, 2009

Groups Challenge Bush-Era Central Valley Water Contracts

Flawed water management plans shortchange wildlife, Delta

Press Release: Victory December 15, 2008

New Biological Opinion Will Protect San Francisco Bay-Delta

State and federal water projects operators must protect native fish from extinction

document December 14, 2007

Delta Smelt Final Remedy Order

Final order on delta smelt issued 12/14/2007

Press Release December 14, 2007

Court Finalizes Order to Protect Bay-Delta, Smelt and Water Supply for Millions of Californians

Plaintiffs hope it’s not too late to restore ailing estuary, as biologists see record collapse in fishery numbers

Press Release July 20, 2007

Former Wildlife Official a "Blemish" to Interior Department Integrity

Bush administration to reconsider politically-motivated Endangered Species Act decisions

document May 25, 2007

Decision on Delta Smelt BiOp

Decision finding Biological Opinion on Delta Smelt impacts of water pumping was "inadequate" and did not use "best available science."

Press Release: Victory May 25, 2007

Federal Judge Throws Out Biological Opinion for Threatened Delta Smelt

Ruling means state and federal water projects may be required to reduce pumping to protect fish from extinction

Earthjustice litigation has protected the smelt under the Endangered Species Act, aiding not only smelt, but salmon and rivers as a whole. Delta smelt are an indicator of the health of the Bay-Delta ecosystem, and are representative of a much larger decline in Delta fisheries, including striped bass, longfin smelt, threadfin shad and others.
(Brad Zweerink for Earthjustice)
case February 15, 2005

Preserving and Restoring the Sacramento Delta

In 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared that water operations in California must be altered to protect the delta smelt from extinction. The Service issued a biological opinion about the effects that the federal and state water projects’ pumping of massive quantities of water from the Delta would have on this threatened species,…