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Shame on the Hudson Riverkeeper! Environmental Advocacy Group Set to Honor ‘Fish Terminator’ Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Dan Bacher Apr 13, 2010

The Hudson Riverkeeper is honoring Arnold Schwarzenegger, the worst Governor for fish and the environment in California history, for his “environmental advocacy” at the “Riverkeeper’s Annual Fishermen’s Ball” on April 14.” This is absurd as Henry Kissinger receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, it’s akin to giving Pol Pot an award for his human rights record!

I have been a member of the Klamath Riverkeeper since the organization started and was a strong, outspoken supporter of the DeltaKeeper organization throughout its existence. I am livid over this move by the Hudson Riverkeeper to honor a guy that makes former California Governors Gray Davis and Pete Wilson look like veritable John Muirs in comparison.

More than any journalist in the country, I have documented in article after article Schwarzenegger’s crimes against fish and the environment when most corporate media sources and some “environmental” NGOs have greenwashed the Governor’s record. The Riverkeeper must be condemned for honoring the guy who has presided over the unprecedented collapse of Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, striped bass, green sturgeon and other California fish populations.

How can the Hudson Riverkeeper possibly honor the Governor who continually campaigns for the construction of a peripheral canal and more dams, who has constantly slashed the budget for Department of Fish and Game biologists and game wardens, who has attacked Endangered Species Act protections for Delta smelt and Central Valley salmon and who has eviscerated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)?

I suspect that Schwarzenegger may be receiving the award because of his close relationship to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Vice Chair and Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Riverkeeper and Chairman of the Waterkeeper Alliance, and other Kennedy family members through his marriage to Maria Shriver. However, honoring Schwarzenegger, when he is the worst enemy of fishery restoration in California, provides “green cover” for the Governor’s attack on Central Valley salmon and the Delta ecosystem.

“Riverkeeper is honoring the guy for his ‘environmental stewardship’ who said on the Sean Hannity’ show ‘we gotta stop putting the interest of the salmon and the smelt above the interests of the people’- at a ‘fishermen’s ball” no less!” said Mike Hudson, executive director of SalmonAid. “These guys must be out of their minds!”

Everybody who cares about the future of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and California’s collapsing fish populations must let the Riverkeeper leadership know that they will lose public support and their credibility by honoring the “Fish Terminator.” I don’t know of any fishermen – recreational, commercial or tribal – in California who support the Schwarzenegger regime’s war on fish and the environment. I suggest that the Riverkeeper change the name of their event from “Riverkeeper’s Annual Fishermen’s Ball” to “Riverkeeper’s Annual Greenwasher’s Ball” to more properly reflect the reality of their “classic Riverkeeper style.”

If the Riverkeeper leadership has any integrity, they should withdraw their invitation to Schwarzenegger to be “honored” at their event. They should then apologize to the recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, California Indian Tribes, Delta farmers, conservationists and environmental justice advocates who have suffered from Schwarzenegger’s continuous attacks on fish, fishermen and the environment! Finally, when RFK, Jr., goes to California next, time he should meet with fishermen and other fish restoration advocates to find out the truth about what Schwarzenegger’s “environmental advocacy” has done to Central Valley salmon and Delta fish populations and fishing communities throughout the state.

I urge you to write, call and email the Riverkeeper to let you know them how you feel about the Riverkeeper’s honoring the “Fish Terminator at: 828 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591, Phone: 800-21-RIVER, Email: info@riverkeeper.org.

Here’s the link and announcement of the event honoring the “Fish Terminator”:

The Fishermen’s Ball

Wednesday, April 14: Cocktails 6:30pm / Dinner 7:30pm, On the Hudson at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, NYC

Mark your calendar and plan to join Riverkeeper at our annual Fishermen’s Ball on Wednesday, April 14, 2010! Our gala celebration on the Hudson River at Pier 60 will honor the environmental advocacy of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and HBO in classic Riverkeeper style. Advance tickets and tables can be purchased online or by calling Event Associates at 212-245-6570 X23. We look forward to welcoming you to the Fishermen’s Ball on April 14th!

This article originally appeared on CounterPunch.org.

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