As the end of the year approaches, we at CELP have been reflecting on this year and planning for 2020.
This year brought many challenges and victories. We faced a very dry summer causing an emergency drought declaration in 27 watersheds and our snowpack levels continue to be less than average. We are feeling the impacts of climate change; our rivers are already struggling to meet sustainable instream flows, and salmon are returning in numbers much lower than expected all over the pacific northwest. This is why our work is critical to the future of our water resources. I am sure you will agree we need to act now to encourage the state to prioritize sound sustainable water policy.
In 2019 we were able to protect the Spokane River when the court ruled in favor of river advocates and found the Washington Department of Ecology failed to protect summertime flows. We had a successful lobby day; CELP assembled a coalition of organizations, activists, scientists, and fishermen from across the state in support of our water resources. After urging legislators to make culvert replacement a priority, Governor Inslee prioritized it in funding and added $175 million for restoring critical salmon habitats. We have built a community around preserving streamflows and water resources through our Water Policy Coordinator, Nick Manning. We were also able to help shut down Crown West’s scheme to abuse municipal water law by filing an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals. We have accomplished a lot to protect our rivers, but much more needs to be done.
Spokane River. Photo: John Osborn
Our work continues and we need your help.
In 2020, with your support, CELP will be ready and able to:
- Raise public awareness about water scarcity issues, including the impacts of climate change, with the goal of moving people to act to protect water resources
- Advocate for the Department of Ecology to adopt sustainable instream flows for critical unprotected watersheds to protect fish and wildlife habitats, recreation, aesthetics, and water quality.
- Participate in streamflow restoration workgroups around the state to ensure water for water mitigation for new Permit Exempt wells.
- Work with Native American Tribes to honor and support their treaty water rights and protect tribal fisheries.
- Use public litigation to protect and defend Washington’s rivers and drinking water aquifers.
You can help us ensure the future of our state’s rivers and streams. Until the end of 2019, Patagonia Action Works matches your donation dollar for dollar here! Double your impact!
Please help us protect Washington’s waters with an end of year gift to help us reach our goal of $10,000.
You can also visit our volunteer page for other ways to support CELP, including supporting CELP through your holiday shopping with AmazonSmile. Thank you for your support as we end the year and move into 2020 ready to act as Washington’s water watchdog.