What is CSPA
The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) is a longstanding nonprofit organization working for the conservation of Californiaís fisheries and their aquatic habitat. In so doing, we seek administrative remedies to restore degraded fisheries and their riverine habitat and we guard against further threats to these extremely valuable public resources.
California has many laws protecting fisheries and their habitat but a poor track record of enforcing them. CSPA continuously monitors the water rights process to protect the publicís aquatic environment upon which our fisheries are so dependent.
Over the past twenty years we have filed several hundred protests with the State Water Resources Control Board against detrimental water quality conditions as well as deleterious water rights applications and decisions, to assure that adequate amounts of good quality water stay in our rivers, streams, and estuaries. These efforts have directly benefited more than a hundred rivers, streams, and watersheds in California and have resulted in substantial improvements in flow and better in-stream habitat for fish and wildlife.
The organization continuously monitors the activities of the federal and state resource agencies, including the California Department of Fish and Game, Department of Water Resources, the California Fish and Game Commission, the State of California Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the federal National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. EPA, and the Bureau of Reclamation. No other sport fishing group maintains such a steady presence with these important agencies that have management responsibility for the publicís fishery resources.
We participate in the re-licensing of hydroelectric projects and, when necessary, file comments, complaints and petitions of intervention with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure that hydroelectric project licenses are amended to provide sufficient flows for fish. We actively participate in the California Hydropower Reform Coalition as a steering committee member, and work with our coalition allies to improve the environmental condition of watersheds, rivers and fisheries that are dramatically impacted by the way that hydroelectric projects are licensed and operated.
We have filed, often in conjunction with other groups, legal actions against a number of state and federal agencies, in order to enforce the laws established to protect fish and their habitat. When necessary, we have also filed legal actions to compel those that violate their waste discharge permits, issued under the Clean Water Act, to comply with the laws intended to restore the integrity of Californiaís waterways. These legal actions seek compliance with environmental laws and with fishery management regulations to encourage our government to be a proper steward of the publicís natural resources.
The organization is currently participating in the Governorís Delta Vision Process. Our Conservation Director was appointed to this effort to help reestablish the sustainability of the Delta ecosystem and its fishery resources including salmon, steelhead, striped bass and sturgeon. We developed and presented the Fishery Recovery and Restoration Plan to the Governorís Blue Ribbon Task Force. Some forty members of the Allied Fishing Groups, an entity that we helped to establish to make a stand for saving the Bay-Delta estuary, endorsed this plan.
We work with state and federal fishery agency leadership to formulate CALFED estuarine and fishery restoration policies and programs. To this end, CSPA, along with several other conservation and environmental groups, participated in a series of meetings with Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt during the Clinton Administration. These meetings developed critical policy vital to the establishment of equitable fishery restoration programs in California.
CSPA works closely with the Environmental Water Caucus and the Allied Fishing Groups to secure a responsible water future for Californiaís public and its fishery resources. We play important leadership role in these critical undertakings.