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ICYMI 8/10/22 Aridification Impacts being felt in the Bay-Delta

Two Bay-Delta stories on the same day show an estuary in crisis. Lack of freshwater flow is the cause. In dry California, salty water creeps into key waterways – AP 8/8/22They may be close by, but these two rivers, central arms of California’s water system, have become too salty to use in some places as the state’s punishing drought drags on.In dry winters like the one California just had, less fresh water flows down from the mountains into the Sacramento River, the state’s largest. That allows saltier water from Pacific Ocean tides to push farther into the state’s main water hub, known as the Delta. It helps supply water to two-thirds of the state’s 39 million people and to farms that grow fruits [...]

Delta Tunnel (VER 2022.1) Draft EIR released; Restore the Delta reax 

For Immediate Release: 7/26/22 Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected], Calif. – Today the California Department of Water Resources released their Draft Environmental Impact Report on the Delta Conveyance (Delta Tunnel) Project. Versions of this massive public works proposal have roiled California water policy since it was first rejected by California voters in 1982 as the Peripheral Canal.Restore the Delta’s executive director, Barbara-Barrigan Parrilla said: “This plan is so massive, it will be delivered to us on thumb-drive. A full review of this mountain of paper is simply not possible for Delta communities, environmental justice groups, or Northern California tribes in just 90-days. “As we read, we will be looking for answers to the questions we raised during our work with the Stakeholder Engagement [...]

Action Alert 7/25/22:  Write Governor Newsom About the Tunnel and CA Water Planning!

Restore the Delta received word over the weekend that the Department of Water Resources will be releasing their Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) early this week for the Delta Conveyance Project. Documents for federal review of the project will be released later this fall. Now we need your help. It’s time to write Governor Newsom and ask him: How can we move forward with a tunnel without updates to flow and water quality standards for the Delta? We have provided a sample letter for our members to send below and we are asking for people to submit their thoughts through the Governor’s online platform and via snail mail. Sample letter: Dear Governor Newsom:I am writing to request that you suspend moving [...]

California Department of Water Resources to Release Draft Environmental Impact Report For The Delta Conveyance Project This Week

For Release: 7/25/22Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected] Stockton, Calif.– Restore the Delta received word over the weekend that the Department of Water Resources will be releasing their Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) early this week for the Delta Conveyance Project. Documents for federal review of the project will be released later this fall.Comment from Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla:“We hold little faith that the Draft EIR will address any of the questions and concerns we raised repeatedly during our work with the Stakeholder Engagement Committee for the Design Construction Authority during that two-year tunnel planning process. To address our numerous questions around water quality, salinity intrusion, and pollution mitigation, DWR would not only have to speak about the sacrifices required by the [...]

Delta Flows: Failed Drought Planning for the Delta 

By: Barbara Barrigan-ParrillaDrought Barriers, an evil necessity?Yesterday, Restore the Delta sent the following scoping comment letter to the Army Corps of Engineers in response to a “Dredge and Fill (404) Application from California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to construct North Delta Drought Salinity Barriers Project.” DWR proposes in its application to add two more temporary rock fill barriers along Steamboat and Miner sloughs in the North Delta intending to prevent intrusion of high-salinity tidal waters into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta should critical drought conditions persist into 2023 and beyond. Responding to planning for the installation of salinity barriers as the preferred method to manage drought in the Delta has always been difficult for Restore the Delta. On the one hand, as [...]

California Water Boards Racial Equity Action Plan – Public Workshops

In 2021, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a resolution that reaffirmed out commitment to racial equity, and now they are working to develop a Racial Equity Action Plan to put the resolution into action. Throughout summer 2022, SWRCB staff will engage with communities most impacted by their work to gather feedback on the draft action plan. For more information on how to get involved and on the Water Boards’ racial equity work, use the links below to learn more. DATES, LOCATION, REGISTRATION:  STATEWIDEJuly 20, 2022. 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Remote Participation Only Spanish Interpretation Available  NORTHERN CALIFORNIA July 21, 2022. 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Remote & In-Person Participation Win-River Resort2100 Redding Rancheria Rd. Redding, CA 96001  SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA July 25, 2022. 4:00 [...]

Delta Flows 7/8/22: Hispanic Chamber Joins Call for Delta Plan Update

A little good news to end a busy week. We are thrilled to share that on July 7, 2022 the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce joined the call by California Tribes and Delta environmental justice groups for the State Water Board to finally update the Bay-Delta Plan. More than a decade overdue. Here’s the latest news on our petition. From the Hispanic Chamber Letter“Low flows and poor water quality have imperiled native fish species, created conditions thatenable harmful algal blooms to thrive, and made waters hazardous for residents who rely onthem for basic needs and wellness. Delta communities of color are particularly impacted by thereduction in flows and the degraded state of Bay-Delta waterways. These impacts perpetuate alegacy [...]

We need your help to continue our work to ensure the health of the Delta and its communities.

Dear Friends,The first seven months of 2022 have been action packed at Restore the Delta. In fact, we feel as if we have completed two years of work in half a year, and there is plenty more coming our way.Drought conditions and Delta water management mistakes continue to take a toll on the Delta, but we are pushing ahead to help correct these conditions.Restore the Delta and several coalition partners, represented by Stanford Law Clinic, continue to push the State Water Resources Control Board to expedite competition of the Bay-Delta Plan – rather than leaving water planning to abstract “blocks of water” as part of the voluntary agreement process. While the Board continues to ignore our requests, we are exhausting [...]

CA Tribes, EJ Groups Respond to State Water Board on Delta Plan – Petition largely ignored; Coalition considers next move

For Release: 7/6/22 Contact: Gary Mulcahy, Winnemen Wintu Tribe, 916-214-8493 [email protected] Speizman, Stanford Environmental Law Clinic, 443-745-8613, [email protected] SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, California Tribes and environmental justice groups filed a formal response to the State Water Resources Control Board. At issue is the coalition’s request that the Water Board update the Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary (“Bay-Delta Plan”)—a duty of the board now more than a decade overdue. The letter calls the State’s response inadequate “While Petitioners appreciate the Board’s statement that updating the Bay-Delta Plan is a “high priority” for the agency, the Board’s actions do not bear this out. The Decision fails to acknowledge that the Board has been in clear violation for nearly twelve years of its statutory duties [...]

Restore the Delta Statement on Supreme Court Climate/EPA Decision

For Immediate Release: 6/30/22 Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-205, [email protected], CA  – Today the United States Supreme Court today released its ruling in West Virginia v. United States Environmental Protection Agency. The 6-3 decision found that Congress, did not grant the EPA the authority to adopt on its own a regulatory scheme (using the Clean Air Act) to cap carbon dioxide emissions from power plants to combat global warming. “A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body,” wrote Justice Roberts. Responding to the news, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director, Restore the Delta said:“Disempowering the Federal Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions will accelerate climate change impacts to the Sacramento-San [...]