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Can California Fish Catch Break With Giant Tunnels? Depends

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio
 

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

(AP) - New federal rulings say giant water tunnels that California wants to build would pose new perils, and a couple new breaks, for the state's vanishing salmon and other native fish.

Gov. Jerry Brown wants to dig $16 billion water tunnels to ease the shipment of water from Northern California to cities and farms in the San Francisco Bay and dry Central and Southern California.

Two federal wildlife agencies gave their green light last week, saying the tunnels probably would not kill off already endangered and threatened native fish and whales.

Experts and conservationists say the heavily engineered water delivery system in the country's most populous state already is helping to drive three-fourths of California's salmon and trout species to extinction.

Brown's administration is pledging to create new fish habitat to make up for threats from the tunnels, and deal with other threats from the tunnels as they arise.

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