The partnership Patterson Irrigation District formed with federal and state agencies was praised during the Sept. 29 opening ceremony for the district's Fish Screen Intake Project on the San Joaquin River.

"Patterson Irrigation District's close cooperation with federal and state agencies on this important project is an example of the partnerships that are moving California toward reliable water supplies and protection of fish species," said Reclamation Mid-Pacific Regional Director Don Glaser. "I would like to congratulate the Patterson Irrigation District Board of Directors for their vision and commitment to this win-win project."

Representatives from agencies who spoke at the ceremony said the cooperation assisted all aspects of the $13.8 million fish screen project, which prevents fish, such as Chinook salmon and steelhead trout, from entering the Patterson Irrigation District (PID) intakes.

Speakers included Cesar Blanco, Chief of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) Implementation Division, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Maria Rea, Supervisor of the Sacramento Area Office, National Marine Fisheries Service; Dave Zezulak, Central Valley Restoration and CALFED Bay-Delta Program Coordinator, California Department of Fish and Game; and John Azevedo, President of the PID Board of Directors.

The keynote speaker was Congressman Dennis Cardoza, 18th District of California. Congressman Jeff Denham, 19th District of California, was a special guest speaker.

The opening of PID's multi-benefit fish screen and pumping facility near Patterson in California's Central Valley marks another milestone in efforts to restore the California Bay Delta while building a more secure and sustainable water supply for the state. The project advances the Federal Interim Action Plan for the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the CVPIA, and the CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program.