Saving Endangered Species

The Bay Institute has been a leader in the effort to win and implement protections for native Delta and Central Valley aquatic species at risk of extinction from water projects, land conversion, toxic discharges, exotic organisms, and other threats.

Over the last twenty years, the Rivers & Delta program has led efforts to force the federal and state governments to list and protect imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act, including delta smelt, Chinook salmon, longfin. and Sacramento splittail. Our experts have identified and advocated for the actions necessary to prevent these species from becoming extinct and to begin the road to recovery and restoration of their habitats.

Our scientists also monitor the impacts of water project operations and other activities on endangered species, report on emerging problems to the public, and advocate for necessary management changes to avoid harming at-risk populations.

Chinook Salmon & Central Valley Steelhead

California's unique Chinook salmon and steelhead populations use every part of the watershed, from the Sierra to the sea; we work to restore healthy habitats and freshwater flows for these migratory fish.

Longfin Smelt

Longfin smelt, once among the most common fishes in San Francisco Bay and a critical indicator of ecosystem health, still lacks basic protections; we are leading the fight to secure federal listing and new legal safeguards for the species.

Delta Smelt

The delta smelt, unique to the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary, is this ecosystem's most endangered fish; our efforts helped get the smelt listed and new protections implemented.