By Lloyd G. Carter
On the day before the start of summer in June of 1980, Russian oceanographer/hydrologist/fisheries biologist and political exile Michael Rozengurt, along with American marine biologist Irwin Haydock, co-wrote then Gov. Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown Jr. a two-page letter warning that a proposed "Peripheral Canal" to funnel Northern California river water around the problem-plagued Delta, would result in the demise of the Delta ecosystem and its abundant fishery.
Rozengurt, now 78 and living in Los Angeles, was no stranger to gloomy predictions. In his 1986 epic on western water "Cadillac Desert", the late author Marc Reisner described Rozengurt as "an expatriate Russian fisheries biologist, who compared California's situation to what the Russians had done to the Sea of Azov, a spectacular fishery turned into a biological desert by Stalin's directive to irrigate a limitless acreage of cotton." He had also watched the Soviet construction of a peripheral canal on the Volga River in 1974 which had caused "mind-boggling" damage to the river's fishery.READ MORE »
By Patrick Porgans & Lloyd G. Carter