Photo by Steve Evans

The State Water Resources Control Board is collecting public comments concerning the development of suction dredge mining regulations for rivers and streams throughout California. Of interest to us: those waterways that begin in and flow from the San Gabriel Mountains. Comments are due by noon on Tuesday, February 28.

SGMF has sent a letter to the Water Board, urging them to develop and adopt comprehensive and stringent regulations to protect the East Fork and other San Gabriel Mountain waterways from suction dredge mining.

Suction dredge gold mining of our rivers and streams degrades water quality and puts public health at risk by mobilizing toxic mercury left in the river beds from historic mining. It also chronically disturbs fish and wildlife habitat and sensitive cultural and historical sites along rivers. We believe the regulations must ensure the protection of water quality in and all the beneficial uses of the East Fork and other streams in the San Gabriel Mountains. The public lands and rivers in these mountains and foothills produce 30% of the region’s drinking water supply and represent 70% of Los Angeles County’s open space, providing recreation opportunities for more than five million visitors annually.

You can join us in urging the Water Board to protect water quality and other beneficial uses of the state’s water from suction dredge mining. Ask them to prohibit dredging in rivers and streams that:

  • provide habitat for at-risk, threatened, or endangered fish and wildlife species;
  • are already impaired or could be impaired by mercury or sediment;
  • are designated as Wild and Scenic and Wild Trout Streams;
  • possess sensitive Native American and historical resources;
  • or provide critical sources of drinking water for downstream communities.

Comments are being accepted via email-

2 thoughts on “Call for Public Comments: Protect Water from Suction Dredge Mining

  1. I think very important not to forget the devastating effects that mercury exposure/poisoning has on many species. Nothing should be allowed that could cause increases in water that is used for human purposes. This is an issue that had to be addressed in the Great Lakes in the 60s and 70’s. We shouldn’t resurrect the potential by this kind of mining. Protect our local waterways!

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