August 22, 2019
So much has changed for Restore the Delta this year. The twin tunnels are dead, yet we anticipate that a notice of intent will be filed with the Federal Government in December, with a full tunnel plan and environmental impact report to be released in 2021.
Simultaneously, a number of issues related to water quantity and water quality loom before us including new weakened Federal water rules and reductions in species protections, new state voluntary settlement agreements that could reduce Delta flows, proliferation of toxic algal blooms, illegal dumping into our waterways, and E. coli outbreaks, in part, tied to increased homeless encampments along our rivers and sloughs. Because we envision a Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as a place where a vibrant local economy, tourism, recreation, farming, wildlife, and fisheries thrive as a result of resident efforts to protect our waterway commons, we have much work to do on local quality of life (and water) challenges. These concerns need to be addressed while we continue to advocate with decision makers at state agencies to create a Water Resilience Portfolio that reduces reliance on the Delta.
We have also had to retool how we are doing business at Restore the Delta. In addition to learning how to interact with the Newsom Administration, we have moved to smaller quarters, and adjusted staffing to appropriate levels for the tasks at hand. We are also executing a plan to receive funding from new sources for training a new generation of Delta water advocates to continue efforts to protect the Delta, our home, for the next dozen years. We will see the fruit of this transitional work over the next 3 to 9 months.
However, as is always the case, our funding in the third quarter is extremely low. We are accustomed to scraping the bottom of the barrel each year to make it until our year-end giving campaign. This year, there isn’t much left to scrape from the metaphorical barrel. In part, this has happened because many supporters figured that efforts to protect the Delta were no longer needed with the death of California WaterFix. In truth, the harder job, of creating positive change for improvements, including pushing for projects that reduce reliance on the Delta, is just starting.
If you value our work and our vision, and recognize the benefit of training future leaders to protect water quality and quantity for the Delta, then we need your help now to keep the doors open, our very small staff (2.5 employees) paid, and all services (phone, internet, website, data services, utilities etc. connected. We need to raise $100,000 quickly to get us through this transitional period.
No gift amount is too large or too small.
While new conveyance (a tunnel, or weir, or other project that has not yet been designed) is moving forward as a plan, we need to encourage the present administration to work on an assortment of other water solutions. We need to focus on the proposed portfolio plan first, and to make sure that the Newsom administration continues to move forward with a transparent and inclusive process that takes into account the needs of Delta communities, fisheries, and cities. While this process unfolds, we need to make local quality of life/water improvements that will entice younger Delta residents to become stakeholders in protecting the estuary. And if these efforts do not stop a bad project from moving forward, we need to be in place and ready to continue speaking the truth as we have always done.
From our work stopping the twin tunnels, to representing the Delta to hundreds of thousands of Californians, to handling high volumes of press work and investigative journalism, to producing an award winning documentary, to building one of the most diverse coalitions (physically and ideologically) in California, to helping create the state’s premiere youth water-data hackathon, to producing reports that serve as tools to help advocates, lawyers, and elected officials, Restore the Delta consistently delivers first-rate results for a modest budget.
Please help us make it through this next transition. Please make a donation today.
Thank you for your consideration.
Yours in service,
Restore the Delta