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WATER: President Trump’s California Visit, Statement by Restore the Delta

For Immediate Release: 2/17/2020Contact:Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected], CA – Donald Trump will visit the San Joaquin Valley on Wednesday to ceremoniously sign a Record of Decision on his controversial federal Biological Opinion that covers operations of water pumps that draw water from the San Francisco Bay-Delta. Conservation groups say Trump’s alliance with powerful valley agricultural interests like Westlands Water District “…has injected politics into federal oversight of the nation’s leading environmental laws.” Trump fired the first set of scientists from the project when they returned with a science draft report that said fish need more water to survive.Trump team weakens endangered species protections for California salmon and delta smelt – Los Angeles Times 10/22/2019Statement by Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta:“We don’t [...]

In Case You Missed It: CalEPA Environmental Justice Enforcement Task Force’s Stockton Environmental Justice Initiative

One of the major projects we have worked on at Restore the Delta for over two years included bringing many local partners to the table with Cal EPA so they could develop the Stockton Environmental Justice Initiative.  We worked with Little Manila Rising, Fathers and Families of San Joaquin, the Pride Center for San Joaquin County, Faith In the Valley, Third City Coalition, Community Medical Centers, El Concilio, Catholic Charities, Delta-Sierra Chapter of the Sierra Club, Bye Bye Mattress, and others.  This link is a wonderful story map put together by EPA that details the fruit of our collective efforts.  This effort has also expanded Restore the Delta’s mission to think about Delta environmental issues in terms of a healthy estuary [...]

Delta Flows: The Trump-Newsom, Newsom-Trump Water Plan for the Delta

By our Executive Director, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla One of Restore the Delta’s primary functions has been to rally people to advocate for comprehensive policies that would be protective of water quality and quantity for the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.For years, meeting that objective included fighting the Schwarzenegger and Brown Administrations’ various conveyance projects ending with the twin tunnels.A Moment of Hope and Collaboration During the last year, with a brief respite in tunnel planning, we were able to begin working on plans for greater overall environmental protections for the region. We created a comprehensive analysis of the flood threat to the Delta and made sound, researched recommendations to the Newsom Administration about next steps for dealing with climate change impacts manifesting [...]

Newsom Water Resilience Portfolio – Restore the Delta Comments

For Immediate Release 2/6/20 Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 2094792053, [email protected] Stroshane, 510-847-7556, [email protected], CA – Restore the Delta has submitted comments on Governor Newsom’s Draft Water Resilience Portfolio. The portfolio was developed in a process that included public meetings and comments gathered during his first year in the governor’s office. The draft report was written by various departments within the Natural Resources Agency of the Newsom Administration.Everyone in California has a stake in this plan.Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta said:“SF Bay-Delta advocates are not seeing many of the good ideas they brought to the table. Also, the plan is mute on strategies to help environmental justice communities adjust to new climate change burdens. We proposed a water resilience strategy that serves our children and future generations [...]

ICYMI 1/30/2020 – CA Water News

Dodd Knows, Newsom Does NotCalifornia’s water department must face the reality of climate change and diverse needs – Sac Bee 1/28/2020“DWR is the agency charged with sustainably managing the state’s water and enhancing the natural environment. It should heed these warnings. The department manages the State Water Project – the vast system of dams, aqueducts and pumps which diverts water from the Delta and delivers it to contract holders.“DWR could play a lead role in helping the state become more resilient in the face of climate change by ensuring that the State Water Project is managed to reduce diversions from the Bay-Delta ecosystem and to promote water use efficiency, water reuse, and other measures that help water districts wean themselves off [...]

ICYMI: Sierra Club California – Gavin Newsom’s Muddy Water Policy

Reprinted with permission from Sierra Club California: Dear friends,As I watch the way Governor Gavin Newsom is handling water policy, I have two thoughts.First, the governor is on a track that seems driven by adherence to some of Governor Jerry Brown’s worst water policies. And, second, he’s not getting good advice.As they did with Brown, the bad water policies related to the San Francisco Bay Delta and a tunnel are overshadowing the good water policies the administration is advancing.Newsom’s water problems started on election day in 2018, even before votes had been counted in the governor’s race. That day, as lieutenant governor, he signed onto a letter with then-Governor Brown, instructing the State Water Board chair to postpone a public hearing set for [...]

ICYMI: LA Times Editorial – Newsom’s Delta Tunnel Plan Could Work

Dear Friends,The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board understands what’s at stake for Delta towns and urban communities with the new single tunnel proposal. They compare the theory behind a tunnel and the reality. It is a must read.  Editorial: Newsom’s delta tunnel plan could work — but only as part of a more comprehensive water effort – The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board 1/26/20 Please click through and read this outstanding editorial regarding the tunnel and Newsom policy on the Delta and California water.  While Southern California shares different concerns regarding the water, the Times understands the Delta story.  Please share it widely. Yours in service, Restore the Delta

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 [...]