Annalisa Batanides Tuel, Policy & Advocacy Manager with Turtle Island Restoration Network, speaks at a Marin County Board of Supervisors Meeting on January 11, 2020.

Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN) attended a Marin County Board of Supervisors Meeting yesterday to advocate for endangered coho salmon in Marin County, California.

Marin County’s Lagunitas Creek Watershed is one of the most important waterways left for critically endangered Central California Coast coho salmon, supporting up to 20 percent of the once thriving population’s remaining fish.

After decades of inaction or failures, the Marin County Board of Supervisors has once again put forth a proposal that may ensure protections for the remaining coho salmon that depend on Marin’s streams for their continued existence. However, such environmental protections are far from guaranteed, as the Board has historically been swayed away from such protections.

During the Board of Supervisors meeting, TIRN’s Advocacy & Policy Manager Annalisa Batanides Tuel listened as representatives from the Community Development Agency presented “Phase I” of a Countywide Plan, which includes a work program to develop an Expanded Stream Conservation Area (SCA) Ordinance for the San Geronimo Valley by Winter 2020/2021. Tuel heard public testimony from representatives from the Sierra Club, the Watershed Alliance of Marin, the San Geronimo Valley Stewards and other community representatives. Comments from the public were all supportive of the adoption of an environmentally sound, science-based SCA ordinance as quickly as possible, but there was a general skepticism as to whether and how it would actually be done.

This past spawning season was the second worst in the past 25 years, and now more than ever the County must move swiftly to ensure Marin’s endangered coho do not blink out of existence.

TIRN is actually optimistic that this time we can get a science-based, common sense ordinance in place that gives our endangered coho a fighting chance at survival and recovery in Marin. To do so in our fish-loving community, we must remain highly engaged if we are to succeed.

In the meantime, our lawsuit remains active and we will continue to keep the County’s feet to the fire to ensure protections for the coho, our creeks and the environment on which we all depend.

Please click here to add your name to our petition, voicing our concerns to the Board and ensuring they follow through with common-sense, science-based, enforceable regulations to save Marin County’s coho salmon from extinction.