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DELTA TUNNEL: DWR Files Contract Validation before Project Plan or Environmental Review

For Immediate Release: August 7, 2020Contact:Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053 [email protected] Sacramento, CA – Yesterday, the California Department of Water Resources filed a validation complaint to be positioned to sell bonds for the design, planning, and construction of the Delta Conveyance Project (Delta Tunnel), even though no project plan or environmental impact report has been released to the public for review. Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta made the following statement: “Following in the footsteps of Westlands Water District, which is attempting to move forward with a contract validation for a permanent water contract without environmental review, Governor Gavin  Newsom’s Department of Water Resources is using the same move from the Trump playbook — rush the project, ignore the public and proper [...]

ALERT: Restore the Delta is sharing this message from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley.

Cyanobacteria Bloom-Central Delta 7/28/20 Good Afternoon,  Central Valley Water Board staff has observed moderate cyanobacteria blooms in various Delta locations during routine recreational water quality monitoring activities. Cyanobacteria water samples were collected at five locations on 7/16/20 and sent to Bend Genetics for lab analysis.  Incident Details:     Moderate cyanobacteria HABs throughout the San Joaquin River, Disappointment Slough and Honker Cut.  Two cyanobacteria genera (Microcystis and Aphanizomenon) detected at the locations sampled.  Microcystins exceeding the Warning Guidance for posting of planktonic blooms at Potato Point and exceeding the Caution Guidance at Tinsley Island and Lost Isle. (https://mywaterquality.ca.gov/habs/resources/habs_response.html#posting_guidance)         Microcystins (ug/L)  Recommended Signage  Sample #  Site  Water Sample  Scum Sample  11 San Joaquin River at Potato Point  10.56 Not collected Warning  12 San Joaquin River at Tinsley Island 1.07 Not collected Caution 13 San Joaquin River at Lost Isle 2.98 Not collected Caution 14 Disappointment Slough ND Not collected  No Advisory 15 Honker Cut ND Not collected   No Advisory  Next Steps:    Post recommended [...]

ICYMI – Harmful Algal Blooms, Governor’s Water Portfolio

Stockton algae bloom has higher level of toxins this year, officials say – KCRA-TV 7/28/20 (VIDEO) A yearly algae bloom in the Port of Stockton is back. The bloom happens during the summer and turns the waterway green, creating a problem in the ecosystem. The watchdog group Restore the Delta said the harmful levels of algae are showing up earlier this year.While the Central Valley Water Board said the timing of the bloom is about normal.However, both groups agree that the level of toxins is higher than in past years.Newsom Lays Out Big Dreams for California’s Water Future – Courthouse News Service 7/28/2020Touting ways to shield California’s most precious resource from climate change, Governor Gavin Newsom released strategies Tuesday to improve drinking water [...]

ICYMI — Lawsuit Settlement for California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Water Network, and AquaAlliance Is A Big Win For the Delta

Landmark Lawsuit Settlement Between Environmentalists and State Water Boards Strengthens Delta Protections – 7/20/2020Restore the Delta sends a heartfelt congratulations to California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Water Network, and AquaAlliance for securing a landmark settlement agreement with the California State Water Resources Control Board to uphold the common law Public Trust Doctrine and other legal protections for imperiled fish species in the Sacramento River and San Francisco Bay/Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta Estuary.  This is an important victory for the estuary.Click here to read their press release.Harmful Algal Blooms at Stockton’s Waterfront – 7/22/2020Click to watch and listen to media coverage of  the Harmful Algal Bloom outbreak in the Delta surrounding Stockton.Interior may shift projects to former Bernhardt client – 7/23/2020More smash and water grab action by [...]

Harmful Algal Blooms at Stockton’s Waterfront: Cyanobacteria at Dangerous Levels 

For Immediate Release: 7/22/20 Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected], CA – Last week, Restore the Delta published photos of Harmful Algal Blooms along Stockton’s downtown waterfront, area sloughs, and other river confluences into the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary and reported our finding to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board for investigation.  Yesterday, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB) confirmed, through water quality testing for both water and scum samples, the presence of microcystins above the recreational health trigger thresholds.  The report from the Water Boards linked below documents the unhealthy bacteria levels found in water and scum samples on July 14, 2021, and the health trigger measurement levels used to evaluate public health risk. Dr. Meredith Howard, Environmental Program [...]

Delta Flows: Harmful Algal Blooms in the Delta are a Pandemic

by Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla In 2007, we produced our first Delta Flows newsletter and began our advocacy for increased flows to improve water quality for the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.  While tunnel plans come and go (and come back again), we still have not been able to persuade the state that freshwater flows for the estuary aren’t just what is needed for restoring an idealized natural world, protecting certain types of fish, or saving Delta farms – freshwater flows are life. In 2019, Restore the Delta, as a leader of the Stockton Environmental Justice Initiative, made clear to California officials the real threat to public health and the health of the estuary itself as a result of proliferating harmful algal blooms (HABs). [...]

ICYMI: Watch our webinar series “Reframing a Region: Communities of Color in the California Delta Parts I & II”

This webinar series addresses popular narratives of the California Delta that present the region as a white space. Using an array of primary sources, a diverse panel of experts will contest this view, illustrating how communities of color were fundamental to the development of the Delta region.  You can watch part one here. This covers history through 1907.You can watch part two here. This covers history 1907 and beyond, Documents for this series:Phillip Merlo’s PresentationPhillip Merlo’s BibliographyMalissa Tayaba’s Presentation

Delta Flows: California water during national crisis (Part 2)

by Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director Last week, the number one box office hit was in the USA was “Jurassic Park” because drive-ins were the only theaters open during the pandemic. Jurassic Park contains some great science quotes that can be applied to efforts by the State Water Contractors, the Design Construction Authority, the Department of Water Resources and the Newsom Administration around the pursuit of a Delta tunnel and overall California water management.  “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” The question the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Design Construction Authority have been busy trying to answer in the affirmative is whether scientists (really engineers) could figure [...]

In Memory of Jay Sorensen

In MemoriamCaptain “Jolly” Jay SorensenSeptember 28, 1937 – June 22, 2020  Tribute by Restore the Delta Board Secretary, Roger Mammon  The Delta mourns the loss of one of its strongest advocates.  Jay Sorensen of Stockton, California passed away peacefully in his sleep.  After successfully beating throat cancer 5 years ago he valiantly lived with complications from the radiation therapy that left him unable to take nourishment by mouth. A lifelong Stockton resident, he was an avid fisherman and guided thousands of people fishing on the San Joaquin River including celebrities, sports figures, and even politicians.  It is estimated he spent 10,000 days fishing over his 50 years as a guide.  The nickname “Jolly” came from his penchant for humor and joke telling. He was the first [...]

Join us on July 2nd for our next webinar “Reframing a Region: Communities of Color in the California Delta – Part 2”

DATE: Thursday July 2nd, 2020TIME: 11 AMThis webinar will address popular narratives of the California Delta that present the region as a white space. Using an array of primary sources, a panel will contest this view, illustrating how communities of color were fundamental to the development of the Delta region. This is the second part.Register here.You can watch the first part of the webinar here.Our panel includes:Phillip Merlo, San Joaquin County HistorianPhillip Merlo is a professional historian and educator who serves as the Director of Education at the San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum. A Stockton native with roots in the delta, Phillip has degrees in history and geography from UC Berkeley. Prior to his tenure at the museum, he served as a [...]