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Monty Schmitt, Senior Scientist, San Joaquin River Project Manager, San Francisco

Monty Schmitt

For over 20 years, I have worked to restore rivers- from the riparian forests along the Sacramento and Big Sur rivers to my biggest challenge - returning flows and salmon to the San Joaquin. Since 2000, I have worked at NRDC on the San Joaquin Project while also working on policy issues related to floodplain management as well as the effects of climate change on water resources.

Recent Posts

Alaska's Fiscal Crisis and Four Other Reasons to Stop Wasting Public Funds to Dam the Susitna River

Posted July 2, 2015 by Monty Schmitt

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By Monty Schmitt and Susan McGuigan Alaska's budget deficit requires focusing on essential public needs Earlier this week Governor Walker finally signed the State of Alaska's 2016 budget, which was extremely challenging and required two special legislative sessions to achieve....continued

The Science of River Restoration - The Mysteries of the San Joaquin River Are Unfolding

Posted July 1, 2015 by Monty Schmitt

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Not unlike an Indiana Jones movie where the mysteries of a lost Incan temple capture our attention, the San Joaquin River - lost for 60 years - has its own fascinating mysteries to reveal. Earlier this month, the San Joaquin...continued

Underwater and Under Review: Stakeholders comment on the environmental impacts of the National Flood Insurance Program

Posted June 29, 2015 by Monty Schmitt

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by Monty Schmitt and Whitney Ericson The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is $24 billion dollars in debt and the impacts of the program are currently being reassessed as part of Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The question is: who...continued

FEMA, Floodplains and Fish: Why the National Flood Insurance Program must protect floodplains to improve public safety and safeguard endangered species

Posted June 25, 2015 by Monty Schmitt

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2007 Chehalis Flood, Washington State Department of Ecology The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is mostly viewed as a way of providing assistance to property owners to rebuild in the wake of a flood. But the program has always...continued

San Joaquin River Access Guide: A portal for recreation and discovery

Posted December 10, 2014 by Monty Schmitt

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Who has not had the experience of being surprised to discover a little park or hiking trail near their home or along their drive to work they had never known was there? For more than 15 years I have...continued

Rejuvenation and Celebration: The Return of San Joaquin Fall-Run Chinook Salmon

Posted November 18, 2014 by Monty Schmitt

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In the early morning light, a hazy fog hangs above the San Joaquin River just above where it meets with the Merced River.  The river’s flow is low, and the calm surface of the water creates a striking reflection...continued

9 Ways to Support San Joaquin River Restoration and Help California Weather the Drought

Posted September 10, 2014 by Monty Schmitt

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As I blogged about in July, CNN reporter John Sutter recently completed an amazing source-to-sea journey down the San Joaquin River. Last week he published an extraordinary account of his travels characterized by thoughtful insights into what the San Joaquin...continued

Discovering Life along a River of Local and National Importance

Posted July 11, 2014 by Monty Schmitt

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John Sutter, a CNN journalist, has just completed an incredible journey from source to sea on the San Joaquin River, the impetus for which was the designation in 2014 of the San Joaquin as one of the most endangered rivers...continued

(Re)Discovering the San Joaquin

Posted June 20, 2014 by Monty Schmitt

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This week I had a chance to travel by kayak down 23 miles of the San Joaquin River just south of Mendota, CA with CNN reporter John Sutter, who is undertaking an ambitious journey to explore the River's entire 360...continued

Revival in the face of drought: The return of spring run Chinook salmon to the San Joaquin River

Posted April 17, 2014 by Monty Schmitt

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  Despite California’s drought, today the San Joaquin River Restoration Program (SJRRP) is releasing 54,000 juvenile spring-run Chinook salmon into the San Joaquin River. This marks the first time in 60 years that spring-run Chinook will make the journey from...continued

The San Joaquin: One of America's most endangered rivers poised for a come-back

Posted April 10, 2014 by Monty Schmitt

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Today, American Rivers released their 2014 list of the 10 most endangered rivers in the country.  The San Joaquin River sits at the very top of this list and unquestionably deserves this unfortunate distinction.  Diversion of over 70% of the...continued

The San Joaquin River's First Salmon Festival is a Huge Success

Posted November 11, 2013 by Monty Schmitt

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Last weekend, members of the San Joaquin River Partnership including NRDC, Trout Unlimited and the Parkway Trust hosted a salmon festival at Lost Lake Park near Fresno, right below Friant Dam. Over 300 people of all ages and representing the...continued

A New Era of Flood Management: Farms, Fish and Flood Protection

Posted November 8, 2013 by Monty Schmitt

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Something happened this week that probably would not have even occurred just five years ago – a farmer worked with conservation groups to sell his 497 acre dairy at the confluence of the Tuolumne and San Joaquin Rivers to the...continued

(Re)Discovering the San Joaquin River: Water flows and salmon coming soon.

Posted November 6, 2013 by Monty Schmitt

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In 1950, George Warner, a California Department of Fish and Game biologist, held one  of the very last salmon in the San Joaquin River. Spring-run Chinook salmon once numbered in the hundreds of thousands were nearly decimated after Friant Dam became...continued

Damming the Susitna River: The more you know the less you like it.

Posted October 7, 2013 by Monty Schmitt

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In the early 80’s when oil prices were at record level, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) received an application to construct a large hydropower dam on Alaska’s pristine Susitna River about 150 miles north of Anchorage.  Millions had been...continued

About

Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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