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ICYMI: HABs, Pistachio War, California’s Changing Climate

Harmful Algal BloomsCalifornia: Beware the Green Goblin—aka Harmful Algal Blooms – Kate Poole, NRDC Expert Blog 8/17/20Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, are not just smelly and gross-looking. HABs pose serious human health risks, kill pets and other animals that ingest them, harm aquatic ecosystems, contaminate drinking water, and prevent the use of rivers and lakes for swimming, boating, and other uses….While San Joaquin County does its best to warn residents of HAB outbreaks, it is unconscionable that the state and federal government are not doing more to prevent these growing outbreaks, especially in underserved communities like Stockton. Of course children are playing in this water, especially when summer temperatures are routinely in the 90s and COVID-19 has confined all of us to our neighborhoods. Shared natural spaces [...]

DELTA FLOWS: Is the Delta Conveyance Project a Good Bet?

By Tim Stroshane, policy analyst for Restore the Delta Just how realistic is this Delta Conveyance Project in 2020? Will this star-crossed project be another COVID-19 victim? The Delta Conveyance Project (DCP) appears to have even less support than former Governor Jerry Brown’s California WaterFix. The Sacramento News & Review reported in recent weeks that Kathryn Mallon, the executive director of both the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority and the Delta Construction Finance Authority, earns twice the salary as Governor Gavin Newsom—and Newsom is earning his (by comparison) with having to prepare a new state budget and oversee the state’s response to the pandemic. The paper also reported that four state water contractors have written to the governor that they would participate [...]

ICYMI: Kamala Harris on Cal Ag Issues, Looming Water Cutoffs

Harris, Biden’s VP pick, opposed USMCA, backed farm bill – AgriPulse 8/14/20Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s pick as his Democratic running mate, has gone on record opposing new trade agreements, including the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and has taken up the interest of farmworkers during her short tenure in the U.S. Senate. Harris, a former California attorney general, was elected to the Senate in 2016 to succeed fellow Democrat Barbara Boxer. Her four-year Senate tenure hasn’t produced a long voting record on agriculture and trade policy, but she supported the 2018 farm bill and took stands on some rural issues….”Senator Harris is a very smart and fair leader,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta in Stockton, Calif. “She will work productively with all parties to help [...]

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