On January 14th, SYRCL released its annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival action letter on its webpage. The action, which asserts that the Climate Crisis is a California water crisis, asked the incoming Biden Administration to declare a climate emergency during their first 100 days in office. Doing so would make available a suite of policy tools needed to address the issues California, in particular, is facing. This is of particular urgency given that climate change disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable in our society.
These issues include the need for ecosystem restoration, green infrastructure investment, and the equitable management of land and water resources to increase community resilience to the climate crisis.
Over 300 people signed the action letter, thereby demonstrating community and regional support for federal leadership on California water, especially in the face of the climate crisis.
Since then, the Biden Administration has taken important action, including supporting the international and California-endorsed “30 by 30” proposal to conserve 30 percent of coastal waters and open space by 2030, rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, rolling back the previous administration’s more damaging executive orders through its own series of executive orders, pulling support from drilling and fracking on public and sacred lands, and promising to release a “infrastructure, climate and education plan” later this year.
The Biden Administration has not, however, declared a climate emergency or taken any definitive action on the dangers facing California’s precious resource – water. If they are to complete this action within their first 100 days, the new Administration has until April 30, 2021.
This is why SYRCL is sending this signed action letter to the following key appointments in the Biden and Newsom Administrations:
- Department of Interior:
- Robert Anderson, Principal Deputy Solicitor
- Tanya Trujillo, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science;
- Michael D. Need, Deputy Director, Operations, Bureau of Land Management
- Environmental Protection Agency:
- Radhika Fox, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Water
- Radha Adhar, Deputy Associate Administrator for Congressional Affairs
- U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
- U.S. Senator Alex Padilla
- Mr. Wade Crowfoot, Secretary for California Department of Natural Resources
- Mr. Jared Blumenfeld, Secretary for the California Environmental Protection Agency
SYRCL is encouraged by the Biden Administration’s historic steps so far to make climate change the center of their platform. We are reminded how critical doing so is by the volatile weather patterns we have seen just this year already across the nation. The climate crisis demands immediate and unprecedented action and California’s water resources need equitable management in order for the golden state to be resilient for future generations.