Reclamation amending agreement to acquire water for East Bear Creek Unit

Media Contact: Erin Curtis, 916-978-5100, eccurtis@usbr.gov

For Release: November 20, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation proposes to acquire up to 8,863 acre-feet of water for the East Bear Creek Unit of the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge. Reclamation has prepared a Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment which details its proposed action to enter into an amended agreement with Merced Irrigation District for the temporary water acquisition through Aug. 25, 2018.

The purpose of the water acquisition is to enhance and maintain wetland habitats for the benefit of migratory waterfowl and wetland-dependent wildlife in the San Joaquin Valley. Water purchased under the agreement will be used to meet Reclamation’s requirement to provide level 4 water supplies for habitat management, as required by the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. Habitat management includes timing and duration of fall and late winter flooding, summer water for food production and permanent wetland habitat maintenance.

The EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and are available at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=28881. For questions on the project or to request a copy of the EA and FONSI, please contact Shelly Hatleberg at 916-978-5050 (TTY 800-877-8339) or shatleberg@usbr.gov.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.