29 Palms Chamber of Commerce does not support Cadiz project
Mojave Watch is going through the list of supporters for the Cadiz Water Project listed on that project's website. It appears a number of community organizations listed on the site as supporters may have initially endorsed the project four to five years ago. This means they may no longer support the project, or that entire boards of directors, officers, and staff may have changed, with new boards, officers, and staff holding a different position.
We are beginning our verification of the positions of these organizations with desert-based organizations, such as the 29 Palms Chamber of Commerce, the Needles Chamber of Commerce, and the Morongo Basin Regional Economic Development Commission. Our goal is to establish whether these organizations did endorse the Cadiz project, still endorse the project, and if so, why. We also wanted to establish whether they are aware of the environmental damage that may result from the project, and the potential negative impact on their hospitality industry members who benefit from desert tourism, as well as upon their communities in general.
A message to the Needles Chamber of Commerce went unanswered, but they have recently switched email addresses, so a follow up inquiry will be sent this week. The Morongo Basin Regional Economic Development Commission has no readily available contact information, no website, and no social media, and may or may not be active at this time. We continue to search for an appropriate contact to verify if the organization is still active, and if so, who comprises its board of directors, and if they continue to endorse the Cadiz project, and why.
Several messages to the 29 Palms Chamber of Commerce did generate a response from Denise Cullum, executive director for the chamber. Her response, though brief, was clear.
"Thank you for contacting us," Cullum said in her email message of May 2, 2019. "We do not support this project."
We will continue to send verification messages to all of the organizations listed as endorsing the Cadiz Water Project, as well as to the government officials, with a special focus on those representing the desert, such as John Cole, former mayor of the City of Twentynine Palms, Republican Assemblyman Chad Mayes, Congressional Representative Paul Cook, and others.
Mojave Watch encourages desert residents and others concerned about the Cadiz Water Project to check the list of project supporters HERE, and to contact those representatives and organizations to ask them to reconsider their endorsement of the project.
Additional information on the Cadiz Water Project: