In Memoriam: Dr. Michael Rozengurt
I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Russian hydrologist/oceanographer/fisheries biologist Dr. Michael Rozengurt. Dr. Rozengurt, who lived in the Los Angeles area, was 79. I was contacted by his son Vadim, who thanked me for writing about his father on this website last July. (Just type Rozengurt in the website search engine box and you can read the whole story.) Dr. Rozengurt, who fled Russia after sounding the alarm that Russian water officials were destroying the Aral Sea in a desert cotton farming scheme, came to America to see the same destruction happening to America's rivers and estuaries.
He wrote Gov. Brown in 1980 warning that the proposed Peripheral Canal would destroy the San Francisco-San Joaquin Estuary fishery. More than 30 years later he was railing against the proposed twin tunnels project, which he said would also destroy the Delta fishery. His message was simple: take too much water out of a river or estuary and you kill them, including the fish and other biota.
Dr. Rozengurt was a prophet in his native Russia and in America. Leaders in both Russia and America ignored his warnings but he never gave up trying to talk sense to the water buffaloes. He will be dearly missed.