Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Support habitat restoration in the California Delta

Assembly Bill 2502 will improve California Delta habitat for fish and other wildlife.

"Assemblywoman Lois Wolk, D-Davis, is authoring legislation for the state to purchase a trio of Delta properties – Prospect Island, the Little Holland Tract and Liberty Island – which are now owned by the federal government and a nonprofit land trust. Wolk's Assembly Bill 2502 would transform these tracts into a state recreation area, with an endowment fund to help restore marshes and levees." (Sacramento Bee 25mar2008) California residents should write to their state representatives to express support for this proposed legislation.
California State Legislature - Find Your Legislator & Contact Information.
Know Your Legislators - leginfo.ca.gov.

On many California Delta islands farming has caused soil erosion as much as 10 to 20 feet below the level of the river that surrounds them. Due to their ancient inadequate levees, these islands are certain to become flooded during one of our next big storms or earthquakes. Perhaps we should take advantage of this opportunity to buy-out the most severely eroded islands and add them into the habitat restoration program.

Sacramento - San Joaquin River Delta fisheries in crisis.

The recent decline of many California Delta fish populations is a catastrophe. Not everybody can appreciate the importance of saving the Delta smelt, but we should all understand why we need to save the salmon. The reduction or closure of salmon fishing along the entire west coast USA is a disaster for commercial and recreational fishermen and the communities that depend upon them. The problem is likely to result from many causes, so solutions to the California Delta salmon crisis will need to address many issues. Fluctuations in ocean conditions may be out of our control. We should act now to restore the degraded habitats in the California Delta. We should also export LESS water from the California Delta to southern California.

Much of the water exported south from the California Delta is used in the selenium-polluting agriculture of the western San Joaquin valley. It is foolish to allow destruction of the California Delta just to support continued irrigation of these toxic soils in southern California.

In California we can joke a little while fighting bitterly in our water wars, but the first of many real killing wars over water is already underway. Economist Jeffrey Sachs said that the conflict in Darfur is really a war over water resources. (Jeffrey Sachs interview - Daily Show 18mar2008)

(I have submitted an edited version of this post to my California Legislature representatives California State Senator Mike Machado and California Assembly Member Lois Wolk.)

For more information:
California Delta Water Supply Policy & River Conservation.
California Delta Directory - Water Policy, Conservation & Recreation. (75 sites).

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