Dear Fellow Stanford Alumni:
Since its founding, Stanford University has built a reputation as one of the finest universities in the world. While the educational excellence of its students is a top priority, the Stanford community—our community—is also united by a higher purpose: to make the world a better place. Protecting the natural environment and preserving ecological balance are core Stanford values. However, Stanford's water diversion facilities and the 125-year old Searsville Dam are causing significant harm to native wildlife including endangered steelhead trout, which depend upon Stanford-managed streams for habitat and seasonal spawning.
Scientists have identified the San Francisquito watershed as one of the anchor systems for the recovery of steelhead in the Bay Area. But, unfortunately, after more than a decade of research and other efforts to inspire change, the Administration has yet to take action to protect steelhead and restore critical habitats.
We can do better. Stanford should confirm its commitment to sustainability by phasing out and removing the obsolete Searsville Dam and its sediment-choked reservoir. Stanford should seize the opportunity to reverse decades of environmental damage wrought by unnecessary and harmful water infrastructure.
The time is right for Stanford to implement the following solutions:
1. Stop harmful water diversions at the Searsville Dam immediately and permanently.
2. Capture and remove nonnative predators from the Searsville Reservoir area.
3. Commit to a plan of action that phases out and removes the Searsville Dam as soon as possible, while also addressing other obsolete fish barriers and outdated water infrastructure in order to restore habitat and reclaim miles of historic spawning ground for threatened steelhead.
Because Stanford values the voices of its alumni, students, and other community members, we need to be heard on this important issue at this critical time. Please join us in encouraging Stanford to protect its legacy as a good environmental steward.