Bill aids salmon, grape growers

10/20/2011

Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation last week that aims to improve water flow and salmon populations in local streams. Assembly Bill 964, proposed by Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, is intended to aid grape growers in developing off-stream water storage projects and subsequently reduce strains on salmon habitats during winter months, when growers rely on sprinklers to protect vines from frost damage. Huffman described the bill as a “win-win-win” for struggling salmon populations, grape growers and the state Water Resources Control Board, which approves the storage projects. “Here we’ve demonstrated that a creative solution could be found that protects salmon streams while respecting the need for growers to protect their premium wine grapes from frost,” Huffman said. The bill received unanimous bipartisan support.