By Cliff Feldheim, Central Valley Project Manager, and Analise Rivero, Policy Associate
Last Friday CalTrout and our partners at Ducks Unlimited, the California Rice Commission, and the Northern California Water Association gathered in the Central Valley to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for collaborative work that will strengthen protections to water ecology throughout the valley. The MOU formalizes our organizations’ relationships and reinforces CalTrout’s commitment to ecosystem-level solutions to salmon recovery. This agreement serves as a template for Caltrout’s work with the waterfowl community and public and private landowners as we develop fish food production projects in the Suisun Marsh, the Delta, and the Grasslands region of the San Joaquin Valley. Members from each organization joined together at River Garden Farms in Knights Landing for a signing ceremony hosted by Bryce Lundberg of Lundberg Family Farms. Many illustrious members of the community spoke in support of the MOU including: Representative Dough LaMalfa, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot, and Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry.
The ceremony was followed by field tours of flooded ricelands that provide waterfowl habitat and food for salmon. CalTrout’s Jacob Montgomery and Jacob Katz treated participants to demonstrations of water sampling in various rice fields to show the number of insects available for birds and fish.
For decades we have worked alongside Ducks Unlimited, NCWA, California Rice Commission and farm owners to initiate models that support land use for fish, fins, feathers, and people. The model can be viewed in the video below:
Special thanks to River Garden Farms for hosting this historic day.
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