Media Alerts

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 [...]

Join us for “Reframing a Region: Communities of Color in the California Delta – Part 2”

DATE: Thursday July 2nd, 2020 TIME: 11 AM This 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.  Register here. Our panel includes: Phillip Merlo, San Joaquin County Historian Phillip 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 social studies teacher at Franklin High School. [...]

ICYMI: Guest Commentary: The Delta Tunnel is not a Social Justice Project 

ICYMI: Guest Commentary: The Delta Tunnel is not a Social Justice Project Maven’s Notebook 6/26/20 In his CalMatters piece on June 20, 2020, Gary Kremen, vice-chair of the Delta Conveyance Finance Authority wraps Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed Delta tunnel project in a strategy of virtue signaling — talking the talk without walking the walk – and without knowing the Delta.“You cannot know the extent of water in a pond you have never been to.”– Swahili proverb (first of three)We grew up at different times but attended the same high school, Ravenswood High in then-unincorporated East Palo Alto. We learned of and lived with the systemic injustices foisted on East Palo Alto by its wealthy, too often disdainful neighbor Palo Alto, and its occupying force,  the [...]

ICYMI: Delta Tunnel Director Earns More than Governor

As state slashes budget, director for proposed Delta tunnel earns twice as much as the governor – Sacramento News & Review 6/24/20While the COVID-19 pandemic has blown a $54 billion hole in California’s budget—threatening education and safety programs and forcing 234,000 state employees to take unpaid furloughs—the state’s spending on a proposed massive tunnel project in the Delta hasn’t slowed. Documents obtained by SN&R reveal that the director of the joint powers authority leading that effort, under the supervision and current financing of the state Department of Water Resources, is getting paid $47,000 every month—twice as much as Gov. Gavin Newsom and significantly more than President Trump.DWR says that the money to pay Kathryn Mallon, executive director of the Delta Conveyance Design [...]

Join us on June 25th for our next webinar “Reframing a Region: Communities of Color in the California Delta”

DATE: Thursday June 25th, 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. 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 social studies teacher at Franklin High School. He has written on the history of [...]

ICYMI: Water Wars During COVID19

Water’s Not the Issue: California farmers leverage Covid-19 in bid for more waterEast Bay Express 6/10/20“But while tens of millions of pounds of food has been destroyed or buried in the ground, a band of California’s farmers is claiming they can’t produce enough food to feed Americans, and they’re using the pandemic as leverage to grab more of the West’s scarce water.“For Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of the group Restore the Delta, the letters come off as grabs at water from the heavily strained Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, which her group has fought for years to protect. Heavy water diversions from the Delta have driven native fish species toward extinction—notably Delta smelt and several runs of Chinook salmon.“The way farmers are [...]

Delta Flows: California water during national crisis (Part 1)

by Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-ParrillaThis is the hardest, most emotionally difficult blog, I have written for Restore the Delta in our 14-year history. How do we talk about the vital work that we do and what is happening in California water against the context of what is happening in America:  a pandemic, a crisis in governance, and the exposure of systemic racism that led to the murder of George Floyd and too many Americans of color over the last 30 years?  How do we have this discussion without overreaching from our areas of expertise and our mission, while showing empathy, respect, and support for so many people suffering in our community, the state, and our nation? When people of color in our communities [...]

Lawsuit Challenges Federal Water Contracts That Imperil Delta, Fish, Wildlife

Restore the Delta has been quiet this year about the Federal water contractors, but it does not mean that we have not been paying attention. This year, our strategy is all about taking action. And that means litigation when necessary against Secretary Bernhardt and the US Bureau of Reclamation.– Barbara—For Immediate Release, Contacts: Jeff Miller, Center for Biological Diversity, (510) 499-9185, [email protected] Robert Wright, attorney for Restore the Delta and Planning and Conservation League, (916) 873-5258, [email protected] Barrigan-Parrilla, (209) 479-2053, [email protected] SACRAMENTO— Three environmental groups sued the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation today to dispute the award of permanent federal water contracts to water users supplied by the Central Valley Project.  The Central Valley Project is one of the world’s largest water storage and delivery systems. It includes 20 [...]