Isak Dinesen wrote that saltwater – from tears, sweat or the sea – could serve as a cure for almost anything. Join us then for this Social Action Sunday as we strive to craft a potent synthesis of these three elements. In partnership with our friends at the Northcoast Environmental Center, we will gather in person for a coastal cleanup effort to match our heartfelt effort to meet the needs of our beloved coastline.
Resources shared during this service
FERC is an independent agency within the U.S. Department of Energy, tasked with regulating the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil, in addition to the licensing of non-federal hydropower projects. Congress granted FERC the authority to regulate these hydropower projects under the Federal Power Act (FPA) Part I in 1935.
Since then, FERC has had the power to decide who gets licenses for hydropower projects, based on the “beneficial uses” of the affected waters and lands as defined in the FPA, one of which is “the improvement and utilization of waterpower development”. These licenses last for decades and allow dam owners to use public waters for energy generation.
Here are instructions for how to submit comments to FERC.
For the Klamath Dams, follow the prompts and talking points at https://bringthesalmonhome.org/take-action/
For the Eel River Dams
The current license for the Potter Valley Project on the Eel River, which is about to expire, includes provisions for Incidental Take of salmon, which means they are allowed to kill a certain amount of fish in the course of doing business. That permit is from 1982 and Eel River salmon populations are in much worse shape now, 40 years later. As they move into the surrender and decommissioning process, which is a huge victory for dam removal advocates but also a huge process, we need to make sure that measures are implemented to minimize the risk to the species that rely on the river, namely Endangered Species listed salmonids. Decommissioning and dam removal provide a chance to shift the balance in the Eel River watershed toward recovery before all is lost. But it is imperative that FERC act to ensure the Project and its operations do not drive Eel River salmon and steelhead extinct before PG&E removes its dams.
Here are some points to consider including in your letter. Keep in mind that personalized letters are preferred. Why do you think that restoring these rivers is important? Include cultural reasons, habitat, concerns about salmon, etc.
Dear Secretary Bose:
Decommissioning and removing the Scott and Cape Horn Dams provides a chance to shift the balance in the Eel River watershed toward recovery before all is lost. But to protect the hope of recovery, it is imperative that the Commission act to ensure the Project and its operations do not drive Eel River salmon and steelhead extinct before PG&E removes its dams.
- In consultation with National Marine Fisheries Services, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Round Valley Indian Tribes (RVIT) and United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), develop and implement a water temperature management plan that provides suitable seasonal water temperatures for adult Chinook salmon (fall), juvenile CC Chinook salmon, and NC steelhead trout outmigration (spring), and juvenile NC steelhead rearing (summer), below Scott Dam.
- Fully implement the Cape Horn Dam Fish Passage Facility Winter Operations Procedure.
- In consultation with NMFS, CDFW, RVIT, and USFWS, re-evaluate and revise the summer flow component of the RPA, incorporating Lake Pillsbury coldwater pool management (dry season reservoir storage targets) and operate project releases to ensure suitable summer rearing temperatures and physical habitat conditions for salmonids below Scott Dam.
- In consultation with NMFS, CDFW, RVIT, and USFWS, develop and implement a stream gauging plan to more accurately monitor cumulative inflow into Lake Pillsbury, above Scott Dam, and Tomki Creek.
- In consultation with NMFS, CDFW, RVIT, and USFWS, re-evaluate and revise the water year classifications for project operations to more appropriately handle extreme drought conditions, while providing beneficial habitat conditions for ESA-listed salmonids.
Don’t forget to say Thank You.
- If you have not submitted comments before, click here to create a FERC Online Account. (https://ferconline.ferc.gov/eRegistration.aspx)
- If you have submitted comments to FERC before, navigate to FERC Online and follow FERC’s instructions for submitting your comments.
- Check your email for your eComment link.
- Draft your comments in a word or text file, so you can copy and paste them into the text box on FERC Online.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to submit comments to docket #P-77-285=
To learn more about efforts to bring the Eel River dams down, visit Friends of the Eel at eelriver.org
For more on Klamath Dam removal efforts: https://www.californiasalmon.org/
To get involved or learn more about the NEC visit yournec.org