Hello, Restore the Delta activists and supporters,
It has been a while since our last chat.
Let’s start with the good news!
Restore the Delta has a new team of university students who are working on climate/water issues for the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. Funded by the Irvine Foundation and Sierra Health Fund, these leaders from Stockton who are studying oceanography, environmental and material science, civil engineering, history, and political science have already been to the State Water Resources Control Board to make the case for the State Water Board to implement and continue with their Bay-Delta Plan to restore water flows for the Delta and for further protection for the estuary from harmful algal blooms.
They, and local climate fellows from a few of the local organizations that we partner with, are participating in a six-month long Delta water training program being conducted by Restore the Delta and environmental/science partners from throughout the state. We are covering Delta and water fundamentals from A-Z. (Our thanks to Little Manila Rising, Third City Coalition, Fathers and Families of San Joaquin, Substratum Systems, and Reinvent South Stockton Coalition for their work and support on the project.)
The total group of trainees recently cut their teeth on reading, analyzing and thinking through the Delta Stewardship Council’s Climate Vulnerability Assessment Report. They participated in their first public workshop presenting their findings. This was no small feat considering they had about two weeks to digest the 200-page report with little knowledge of California water. Yet they all gave thoughtful, fact-based presentations to the public on their findings in a joint workshop with the Delta Stewardship Council. It was truly a learning-by-doing experience, and they all rose to the occasion.
At Restore the Delta, we fill a unique role among water and environmental organizations. We are the people OF the Delta. We ensure our future by:
• Developing not only the Delta’s next generation of Restore the Delta staff leaders, but making sure that we create a path for the next generation of Delta engineers, hydrologists, public health leaders, engineers, environmentalists, scientists, writers, lawyers and advocates who will work to protect the magnificent estuary that we love.
• Ensuring that the next generation of Delta leaders is diverse and representative of all Delta communities – including environmental justice communities.
Our young leaders of today will be the adults with families and children of their own living with the decisions being made about the Delta’s management in the future. We have to ensure that they are ready to be the guardians of the estuary.
General Membership Meeting
We are in the process of pulling together a general membership meeting for updates on a number of topics for the end of March/early April. Stay tuned…
We cannot thank our supporters enough for helping us survive a tough, tough year. We are grateful for each and every one of you. We mailed on 2/18 all thank you letters for 2020 donations made to Restore the Delta. We apologize for the delays. Here is why such a simple task has become such a struggle. We are working remotely. Home printers cannot handle this job. And none of us had space in our homes to house the commercial printer we did have. We created files and programs to have letters printed and sent that were executed incorrectly several times by various vendors (still struggling for refunds for that mess). With Covid, as we are sure you all know, the simplest task drags on for weeks. (Ask us about simple insurance renewals; contracts and other activities that a year-ago were completed in a day). We simply are better at advocacy and training at the moment because we can pull together an event that we can control and successfully execute it (except for when internet services go down). Remote administration, in which we are dependent on others during the pandemic is well difficult at best.
But we got it done! Thank you for your patience with us!
– Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta