On Tuesday, February 19th, 2013, the California Valley Miwok Tribe hosted a meeting with several representatives from the California Department of Public Health, Ms. Janis Cooke, Ph. D.; representing the California Regional Water Control Board, Central Valley Region, and invited guests, Mr. Gary Prost, Field Representative from Congressman Jerry McNerney’s Stockton Office, and Mr. Richard “Windfeathers” Muniz, Commander of the San Joaquin County Native American Veterans Lodge.
The Central Valley Water Board has established the Delta Mercury Exposure Reduction Program (Delta MERP) to reduce the consumption of mercury-contaminated fish. The Central Valley Water Board staff is developing a work plan to reduce exposure to mercury from Delta fish. The program will be funded by wastewater dischargers, state and federal agencies with jurisdiction over waterways, farmers and land managers in the Delta.
The primary goals of the Delta MERP are to: Involve local organizations that serve Delta fish consumers and their families (such as tribes, community-based groups, and county health departments) in the design and implementation of the exposure reduction program; Develop and implement community-based activities to reduce mercury exposure from Delta fish; Raise awareness and understanding of fish contamination issues among fishing populations; and provide information and tools that encourage consumers to change their fishing behaviors in ways to reduce their exposure.
CDPH and the Central Valley Water Board invites community-based organizations, tribes, fish consumers, fishermen, fishing organizations, and other community representatives with an interest in reducing exposure to mercury in fish to participate in the Delta MERP.
The California Valley Miwok Tribe would like to thank the Department of Public Health Representatives, Ms. Olga Martinez, Ms. Rebecca Lakew, Ms. Alyce Ujihara, Mr. Ian Walker and Mr. Primitivo Rojas-Cheatham; Ms. Janis Cooke, Ph. D., representing the California Regional Water Control Board, Central Valley Region; Mr. Gary Prost, Field Representative from Congressman Jerry McNerney’s Stockton Office, for his attendance over the congressman’s concerns for the health and welfare of all the citizens that reside within the congressman’s district and Mr. Richard “Windfeathers” Muniz, Commander of the San Joaquin County Native American Veterans Lodge for bringing a different perspective and bringing forth both concerns and issues during the meeting in representation of groups, organizations, and local individuals that he works with.