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New from Restore the Delta: Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary Fact Sheet

We have released a new fact sheet on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary and it is available here and also on the Local Delta Issues section of our website.Harmful Algal Blooms are proliferating in freshwater systems internationally, nationally, statewide, and locally here in the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. Stockton, the Delta’s environmental justice and rural communities are ground zero for risk from health impacts associated with Harmful Algal blooms. Example of a HAB in Discovery Bay, Summer 2019. In the next few weeks, we will release more information on HABs, so keep a eye out!Yours in service,Restore the Delta

Action Alert: Single Tunnel Scoping Meetings in February and March

With the Notice of Preparation for the Delta tunnel, a list of scoping meetings has been announced for public participation component as required by law for proposed new projects. We see these meetings as a mixed bag. It is essential for our members to share their concerns about the project and to get them into the legal record. So attendance and being prepared to make comments is essential. DWR has clarified that the meetings will NOT be open house style. Yes, your comments will be taken in by a court reporter, but there will be a short presentation and comments can be made to the entire community.  We received incorrect information on open house meetings from a different government source.  It was clarified for us yesterday at the [...]

Restore the Delta Submits Comments on Delta Plan Climate and harmful algal blooms are emerging threats

For Immediate Release: 1/21/20Contact: Tim Stroshane, 510-847-7556, [email protected] STOCKTON, CA – Restore the Delta today filed comments today on the proposed Delta Plan ecosystem restoration amendments currently being considered by the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC). Among the concerns about Delta stewardship are climate impacts, harmful algal blooms, and protecting indigenous and Delta environmental justice communities. Here are a few quotes from the comments letter. Best Available Science“In the absence of following the scientific evidence where it leads, the DSC’s policies will fail to be based on the best available science, something that state law obligates the Council to do.” Climate“We sense from this preliminary draft of Chapter 4 that there is much uncertainty as to the rate at which sea level rise and other effects of [...]

Single Delta Tunnel Planning Begins with “Notice of Preparation”; Reaction from Restore the Delta

For Immediate Release: January 15, 2020 Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected] STOCKTON, CA – Planning for a single tunnel through the San Francisco Bay-Delta, formally began today as the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) released its Delta Conveyance Notice of Preparation. The document begins the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the “Delta Conveyance Project.” DWR’s notice today acknowledges that the proposed single tunnel is a new project, not a continuation of the Twin Tunnels permitting process. For comparison of timelines, the previous (now dead) Twin Tunnels planning process began under Governor Schwarzenegger. Reaction from Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director, Restore the Delta:  “We are disappointed that the notice of preparation for the Delta tunnel project was released todaybecause:  • A tunnel [...]

Action Alert: Call Governor to Stop Westlands’ Water Grab

It is clear from recent media stories that Westlands Water District is aggressively pushing the Newsom Administration to not litigate against the Bernhardt/Trump Water Plan that will significantly increase pumping from the San Francisco Bay-Delta. Westlands is now threatening to walk away from the “voluntary agreements” to set flow standards for the Delta.The problem is the voluntary agreements, from what we understand, will be worse than the Bay-Delta plan approved at the end of 2018. Little water is being allocated for Delta flows during the summer and fall months when Delta waterways are in peril from proliferating Harmful Algal Blooms. Not surprisingly, Senator Dianne Feinstein, as is customary, is working to help Westlands by putting her own pressure on Governor Newsom. It is sort of amazing to see Senator [...]

RTD: Westlands Permanent Water Contract Drafted “In the Shadows”

For Immediate Release: January 8, 2020Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected]  Stockton, CA – Restore the Delta has sent a second comment letter to the Bureau of Reclamation regarding the Westlands Prepayment Contract. This second letter focuses on the process by which the negotiation was conducted.   Here is our first comment letter dealing with the substance of the contract.   Restore the Delta’s executive director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said:“Twenty interested parties were basically shut out of the contract negotiations process between Westlands Water District with the Bureau of Reclamation. Call-in numbers for the public were withheld. Ample notice of meetings was not provided. And legally published meeting notices were vague. As is customary with Westlands Water District, it appears that an effort was made to hide the development of the permanent water contract from the public. It is time for [...]

Restore the Delta Issues Comment Letters on Federal and State Water Operation Planning

 For Immediate Release: 1/6/2020 Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected] STOCKTON – Restore the Delta has filed comment letters on two major planning decisions that impact the health of the San Francisco Bay-Delta. The two processes are the Long Term Delta Operations plan for the State Water Contractors and the Westlands Water Contract. RTD sees problems with both state and federal plans as they impact the Delta.Neither plan:1. Restores the Delta 2. Includes planning for climate resiliency 3. Addresses the impacts of increasing water exports on Delta environmental justice communities 4. Considers the impacts of increased water exports and the spread of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)  The first letter is comments to the California Department of Water Resources on the proposed [...]

In Case You Missed It: Newsom can’t have it both ways on California water

Editorial: Newsom can’t have it both ways on California water – Los Angeles Times, 12/24/19“But despite his Nov. 21 announcement, Newsom’s team still has not filed the water suit. That’s a bad sign, especially when paired with a proposal by the California Department of Water Resources to operate under new pumping rules that look remarkably like the Trump administration plan….” In other words, the large water agencies that supply agriculture and urban areas want Trump’s water and environmental policies to be Newsom’s water and environmental policies. Newsom has to decide whether he’s working for Californians — all of us who have a stake in our water and seek enough to quench our own thirst while keeping our fragile natural environment intact — [...]

Holiday ACTION ALERT to Save the Delta!

CALL Governor Newsom today and all through the holiday break! It is clear from recent media stories that Westlands Water District is aggressively pushing the Newsom Administration to not litigate against the Bernhardt/Trump Water Plan that will significantly increase pumping from the San Francisco Bay-Delta. Westlands is threatening to walk away from the “voluntary agreements” to set flow standards for the Delta.The problem is the voluntary agreements, from what we understand, will be worse than the Bay-Delta plan approved at the end of 2018. Little water is being allocated for Delta flows during the summer and fall months when Delta waterways are in peril from proliferating Harmful Algal Blooms. Not surprisingly, Senator Dianne Feinstein, as is customary, is working to help Westlands by putting her own pressure on [...]

ICYMI – Westlands Taking Hostages 12/19/19

Gov. Newsom’s threat to sue Trump upends peace talks on California water wars– SacBee Now, one of the nation’s most powerful farm irrigation districts says it will back out of the agreements completely if Newsom follows through with a pledge to sue President Donald Trump over a federal plan to pump more water to farmers from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the fragile estuary on Sacramento’s doorstep…. But Doug Obegi, a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said Westlands’ threat to walk away from the talks — so soon after threatening to walk during the SB 1 debate — amounts to the farm-water agency trying to “bully the state into backing away from fighting the Trump administration.” “It does feel like we’ve [...]