Upcoming Events

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The History of Events

(Last updated 12/22/2022) This page tracks events that impact the California Delta. STCDA was formed due to the Two-Gates Project in October 2009 (we fought that and one) then continued to battle the BDCP (Peripheral Canal), which morphed in 2015 into the California WaterFix (Twin Tunnels) which we stopped at the end of 2018. Early 2019 the plan was renamed the Delta Conveyance Project (now a single tunnel but much remains the same).

STCDA is also there to fight any other gates, dams, or projects that would negatively impact life on the Delta – from the small legacy communities in the north to Discovery Bay in the south. 


December 2022

October 2022

  • Draft EIR comment period extended through December 16.

July 2022

  • July 27 – Draft EIR for the Single Tunnel project (aka Delta Conveyance Project) released, which opens up the 90-day comment period through October 27.  Online here: https://www.deltaconveyanceproject.com

January 2022

  • It’s 2022, and CalMatters published a good commentary about what is needed for the Delta. Unfortunately it’s not new. We’re still waiting for California to take the “First Step” Carolee Krieger, the executive director for California Water Impact Network refers to. STCDA responds 


November 2021

April 2020 – September 2021

  • Due to the pandemic, the only meetings held have been STCDA’s attendance by zoom with the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA) and their Stakeholder Engagement Committee (SEC). STCDA’s President, Karen Mann, has attended all SEC meetings remotely.
  • In March 2021’s newsletter, we told STCDA members that there is nothing significant to report, no significant changes from the many months of SEC meetings.
  • The DCA continues with it’s design efforts, never changing the intake locations in the north that will destroy historic legacy communities, continuing with evaluating a central and eastern route where, regardless of route, construction would still go through the Delta, destroying Delta farm islands and waterfowl habitat.And the long-term impact to the estuary from taking the freshest water out before it can flow through the Delta remains as long as there is a tunnel on the horizon.


October 2020

April 2020

  • Apr 17 – Comments were sent in by everyone on the Single Tunnel “Delta Conveyance” NOP. Here’s the official STCDA Response, by Michael Brodsky.
  • California Coronavirus Pandemic Shelter-In-Place Orders extended through May 3

March 2020

  • Mar 27 – Restore the Delta and the Sierra Club CA join with Delta Defenders and STCDA to request cancelling all tunnel meetings requiring inputs from the public during the Coronavirus crisis.
  • Mar 23 – DCA sends out notice for the April 22 SEC meeting to be held via videoconference. They also request the SEC members work on the questionnaires they distributed in their March 11 meeting
  • Mar 19 – California Governor Newsom orders a state-wide shelter-in-place.
  • Mar 19 – The Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority held their Board Meeting on the Single Tunnel (now being called the Delta Conveyance Project). The first half hour was a closed meeting. Because of coronavirus restrictions, a video link was sent out. People tried to get online for the public time but the link was incorrect. I tried to join late but the meeting was over in an hour. I will report about it if I get more information. Here’s the meeting packet sent out before the meeting.
  • Mar 17 – DWR delays Single Tunnel NOP comment period from March 20 to April 17.
  • Mar 17 – The Single Tunnel design Stakeholder Engagement Committee Meeting is cancelled for March 28 but is planned to resume in April.
  • Mar 17 – In California, citizens are on a “Shelter in Place” (isolation at home) in populated counties including Contra Costa County until April 7th at least. Every non-essential business shuts down.
  • Mar 16 – Karen Mann, South Delta Local Business representative, requests the Stakeholder Engagement Committee Meetings be put on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Mar 16 – Karla Nemeth, Director of DWR, replied to Delta Defender’s letter requesting indefinite postponement of the Stakeholder Engagement Meetings but did not agree to cancel March 25 meeting.
  • Mar 16 – Delta Defenders requests to delay further Delta tunnel Stakeholder Engagement Committee activities until the national and state public health emergency is more under control.
  • Mar 13 – Trump declares a National Emergency due to coronavirus.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) WORLD PANDEMIC. Travel stops, countries call their citizens to return from travel, planes are limited. Vaccinations may not be available for 18 months.

February 2020

    • Feb 20 – Brentwood Scoping Meeting. Good turnout – thanks to all that attended and wore their tee shirts and held up signs 🙂 The room was standing-room only. They should know if they come onto our turf, they need bigger conference rooms! Here’s some photos. I’ll post the video when we have it available. Great comments. Zero percent in the room “for” the tunnels. The young DWR newbies didn’t even know what a Peripheral Canal was. Here’s Gene Beley’s video of the entire meeting.
      Here’s our blog on it. It includes the full transcript and video of our Legal Council Michael Brodsky’s comments.

      Top left, rally prior to meeting with “No Tunnel” signs and tee shirts. Top right, Michael Brodsky giving comments. Bottom left, packed room with lots of Stop the Tunnels tee shirts. Bottom right, Karen Mann, STCDA President, schooling DWR about where the schools are that will be impacted by construction.

  • Feb 12 – Santa Clara Valley Water District Scoping meeting report from a STCDA member:

    It was a light attendance. If say less than 45 people. There were 5 general questions prior to the Public Comments.

    There were 20 comments total. Some commented that no one knew about the meeting, and that’s why it was so poorly represented. The comments were pretty evenly divided. 12 were against the Tunnel, 9 for. There were 4 Sierra Club who mostly spoke for themselves and 8 others. The Pro Tunnel folks were all union types. They clearly had their talking points! Earthquake, sea level rise, reliable source and disaster recovery. Poor, failing levees, pipes, etc. They were from the following agencies: Operating Engineers, Construction Workers, Environmental Policy Group, California Alliance for Jobs, Alameda County Water District, Zone 7 Water Agency.

    This was supposed to be a scoping meeting, although it didn’t seem that way. Seemed more like they were going through the motions.

January 2020


December 2019

  • Happy Holidays!

November 2019

  • Nov 6 – Franks Tract Futures Meeting.

October 2019

  • Oct 22 – The updated Biological Opinions (BiOps) were released.
  • Oct 8-9 – Orwood RR Bridge closure for repairs. The bridge was closed Oct 8 at Sundown until 6 am tomorrow (Oct 9).
  • Oct 9 – Delta Activists Meeting at the Delta Center, Corner of Hwy 12 and 160.
  • Oct 6 – Barge Issues! Once the Orwood RR Bridge reopened Oct 6, a huge barge that had also been blocked, being pushed by a tugboat, was having trouble getting through the bridge opening. Other boaters waited their turn, but the big barge and tug in the middle of Old River was again, as in recent weeks, a safety concern for boaters. Several reports by boaters the past few weekends have been made about harrowing passages with these huge barges and tug boat props that are so powerful, even a 38 foot, 20,000 lb. boat was having difficulty passing.
  • Oct 6 – Orwood RR Bridge broken. Discovery Bay boaters trying to return from weekend outings were concerned to hear that the Orwood Railroad Bridge was down. That bridge being operational protects the lifeline for boaters, as Old River is the only way larger boats can go to and from Discovery Bay. The operational process is supposed to be when the Orwood RR Bridge is not working, the Alternate RR Bridge on Middle River (an exact replica) goes into service. There is a 24×7 operational commitment to Discovery Bay boaters that one of those bridges will be available at all times. An investigation is underway.
  • Oct 3 – DCA responds to the Delta County Coalition Supervisors’ objections to the formation of the Delta Stakeholders Engagement Committee.
  • Oct 2 – The Administration stepped back on a plan to push more water through the Delta this fall after protests from California officials on the harmful impacts on endangered Chinook salmon and other fish.State officials had been worried that the proposed move, by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, also would have meant less water for Southern California cities that rely on supplies pouring out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

September 2019

  • Sep 30 – Groups oppose the Voluntary Agreements (VAs) being proposed as an alternative to increasing the Delta Flows. California Water Research details the issues with VAs.
  • Sep 26 – Disappointed in Wade Crowfoot’s response and decision to move ahead with the Delta Stakeholders Engagement Committee as part of the DCA, STCDA issues letter of concern to Erik Vink, the Delta Protection Commission.
  • Sep 19 – Karen Mann, President STCDA, is accepted on the Delta Stakeholders Engagement Committee.
  • Sep 19 – Newsom vetos SB1, the bill approved by the legislature to counteract the Trump Administration’s roll-back of environmental protections. Response from STCDA: “We are very disappointed in Governor Newsom’s decision to bow down to the Trump administration’s roll back of environmental protections for the Delta and its fish species. SB 1 would have guaranteed the continued existence of environmental protections, including restrictions on over-pumping of Delta water for export. SB 1 was good for fish and for the people who live and recreate in the Delta. The veto causes us to question whether the new Governor’s supposed commitment to take concerns of Delta stakeholders seriously is genuine.”
  • Sep 17 – STCDA writes to Wade Crowfoot objecting the Stakeholders Committee reporting to the DCA, an agency run by the water contractors. Wade crowfoot responds.
  • Sep 17 – Delta Conveyance & Construction Design Authority (DCA) announces the formation of a “Delta Stakeholders Engagement Committee.” Immediately, there is an objection from various groups that the DCA has no authority to make changes in the currently proposed tunnel design or route, and is run by the water contractors (hardly an independent agency).

August 2019

  • Aug 29, 12-4 p.m.: Franks Tract Meeting at the San Joaquin Yacht Club, 550 Riverview Pl, Bethel Island, CA 94511
  • Department of Water Resources (DWR) State Water Project (SWP) Contract Amendment Negotiation Meetings continue for the Delta Conveyance
    • Aug 21: Negotiating Meeting #3 at the Courtyard by Marriott, 4422 Y Street, Sacramento, CA
    • Aug 26: Negotiating Meeting #4 at the Courtyard by Marriott, 4422 Y Street, Sacramento, CA

    What these meetings are: Letter from Karla Nemeth, Director DWR, announcing the meetings: Public Notice July 3 2018.

July 2019

  • Jul 31 – Negotiation session #2 for the SWP Contract Amendment for Delta Conveyance. Michael Brodsky attended representing STCDA.
  • Jul 24, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. – The state (Department of Water Resources) began a series of meetings with the water contractors to determine how the contractors would pay for a downsized single tunnel project. Meeting Summary. Michael Brodsky attended representing STCDA.

June 2019

  • June 20 – Delta Conveyance JPA Meetings: Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCDCA) Regular Board Meeting at 2 p.m. in the Sacramento Public Library, Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
  • June 18 – Kick-off of the replanning effort for Franks Tract. Story here: State of California reconsiders Franks Tract Plan.

May 2019

  • May 16 – Design and Construction Authority (DCA) Meeting
  • May 14 – A Gathering of activists! A public meeting was held at the Delta Farmers Market at the intersection of Highway 160 and Highway 12, hosted by California Delta Chambers and Visitors Bureau.
  • May 7 – The Newsom Administration announces that it will be abandoning the California Waterfix Project, also known as the Delta Twin Tunnels. In reaction to the single-tunnel provision, Delta Alliance Board President Karen Mann said, “We must remain diligent regarding the planning process and the future of the California Delta.” Delta Alliance Press Release.
  • May 7 – California Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth rescinded the Department’s approvals of the project, withdrew certification of the project environmental impact report, and withdrew its application for approval before the California State Water Resources Control Board.

April 2019

March 2019

  • Mar 19 – To fight back against the State Water Resource Control Board’s efforts to increase Delta Flows, Voluntary Agreements (VAs) are proposed.

February 2019

  • Feb 12 – In Gov. Newsom’s State of the State address, he advocates for one tunnel, not two, as his compromise position. STCDA argues that any tunnel construction that goes through the heart of the Delta will still destroy the Delta with the ten-plus year construction destruction.
  • Feb 12 – Gov. Gavin Newsom announces his appointment for State Water Resources Control Board: Joaquin Esquivel as Chair of the State Water Board and also Laurel Firestone to the Board. Esquivel has served on the Water Board since 2017. Esquivel was assistant secretary for federal water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency from 2015 to 2017 Firestone served on the Tulare County Water Commission from 2007 to 2012, and co‐chaired the Governor’s Drinking Water Stakeholder Group from 2012 to 2014.Good? Bad? Read our assessment here: nodeltagates.com/2019/02/12/newsom-makes-appointments-to-the-swrcb/.Result: Bad, unless Newsom is freeing up Marcus to be the new head of the DWR. If that is his plan, that would be good news.

January 2019

  • Jan 20 – Governor Gavin Newsom considers who to name as Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. Several groups push him to leave Felicia Marcus as Chair. Mercury News Editorial.
  • Jan 8 – The new Governor, Gavin Newsom, names Jared Blumenthal as California EPA Chief. The California EPA Chief leads several agencies including the State Water Resources Control Board.


December 2018

  • Dec 12 – Originally scheduled for November 7th but Brown requested a 30-day delay, the State Water Resources Control Board voted 4-1 in favor of increasing the flows on the San Joaquin River to on the San Joaquin River Delta Flows requirements. STCDA’s Blog about the vote and Maven’s Notebook Report
  • Dec 7, 2018 – DWR withdraws their request to the Delta Stewardship Council to approve the Delta Tunnels (WaterFix) “consistent” with the Delta Plan. Good news except the letter from Karla Nemeth, Director, claims the tunnels are consistent but there are “unresolved issues related to the interpretation of the requirements of the Delta Reform Act and Delta Plan Policies,” (i.e., just a technicality).
  • Dec 10 – STCDA objects to the Council dismissing all appeals (per DWR’s Dec. 7 request). See the email from Michael Brodsky here: California WaterFix C20185 request to reconsider dismissal of appeals.
  • Dec 7 – DWR withdrew their request to the Delta Stewardship Council to certify that the Delta Tunnels (California WaterFix) is “consistent” with the Delta Plan. See the letter at Delta Tunnel Project has been put on-hold.
  • Dec 6 – Protest at Sen. Feinstein’s SF Office. A protest against the WIIN Act Extensions a Spending Bill riders added to prohibit legal action against the WaterFix (Delta Tunnels) was organized by Food & Water Watch and Restore the Delta. Members of STCDA participated.

November 2018

  • Nov 15&16, 2018 – The Delta Stewardship Council meeting to review their Staff’s findings. Here is STCDA’s Briefing to the DSC. decide whether to accept their staff’s recommendations to vote that the Delta Tunnels (WaterFix) is “Inconsistent” with the Delta Plan or not.Randy Fiorini, DSC Chairman, remanded the WaterFix (Tunnel Project) back to DWR based on Staff’s findings of inconsistency. That means the DWR has to go back and rework the plan to address our issues of (1)Not reducing reliance on the Delta and (2)Not protecting the Delta as a Place during the construction phase.
  • Nov 13, 2018 – Central Delta Corridor Partnership Workshop in Walnut Grove.
  • Nov 9 – Delta Stewardship Council Staff Report says the Tunnels are inconsistent with the Delta Plan! Here’s the entire report: Staff Draft Determination re California WaterFix (C20185)

October 2018

  • Oct 24 – Day one of Delta Stewardship Council’s meeting on if the Tunnels are “consistent” with the Delta Plan. Michael Brodsky argued no. Here are his slides.

September 2018

  • Sep 26 – Water Board WaterFix Part 2 usr-rebuttal resumed.

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

  • Jan 24 – Trump Administration says it wants to send more water south
  • Jan 16 – Water Board delays the Hearings for 2 weeks until Feb 2.
  • Jan 12 – STCDA alleges that the Water Board Hearings on the WaterFix were rigged and files for a “Stay” to the Part II Water Board Hearings on the WaterFix (Delta Tunnels) (scheduled to start Jan 17). See more here . . .
  • Jan 5 – Carl Wilcox from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife presented their Franks Tract Feasibility Study to a Bethel Island group of marina and other business owners (and Jan McCleery representing Discovery Bay and STCDA) at the San Joaquin Yacht Club. See more here . . .


December 2017

  • STCDA uses the Public Records Act to request emails and meeting minutes from the Water Board.

November 2017

  • Nov 11 – Simm’s 7th Annual Pro Delta day for Professional Bass Fishermen. STCDA was invited to participate on a Delta Conservation Panel for the event. It was a great event, a record turnout, and this year’s bass fishing award (again) went to Bobby Barrack and fishing partner Brett Hite.
    01 Bobby and Jan 192.jpg
    Bobby Barrack, Professional Angler and winner of the Pro Delta Day tournament, with Jan McCleery, STCDA

    If you look back at the events, the very first one below, August 1, 2009, the event that started Save the California Delta Alliance’s efforts was due to Bobby Barrack going in his bass fishing boat early one morning, passing out fliers to boaters anchored out in Mildred Island Anchorage, alerting everyone about the “2-Gates Fish ‘Protection’ Project” (which was misnamed, like many of the State’s projects). Mike & Jan McCleery were one of those anchored-out that weekend and the alert brought to us by Bobby was what started us off on the work to Save the Delta and Stop the Tunnels!

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

  • Aug 28 – STCDA Board Meeting
  • Aug 11 – Metropolitan releases its Financing report and it’s full of holes. Read more . ..
  • Aug 10-13 – Big Cat Poker Run

July 2017

  • July 29-30 – STCDA Stop the Tunnels weekend at Bullfrog Marina
  • July 27 – Delta Stewardship Council Meeting. For the third time, the STCDA Bus went from Discovery Bay to Sacramento to attend the DSC meeting.

June 2017

  • June 22 – Delta Stewardship Council Meeting. Once again, the STCDA Bus went from Discovery Bay to Sacramento to attend the DSC meeting.
  • June 3 – The Save the Delta Charity Golf Event at the Discovery Bay Golf & Country Club was a great success! Funds raised take STCDA over the initial $60K target. See STCDA’s Fundraising Page.

May 2017

  • May 25 – STCDA filled a bus with Discovery Bay residents to make the trip to Sacramento on May 25th to protest the Delta Stewardship Council’s draft amendment on “conveyance” (aka the Delta Tunnels) and to provide public comment. But none of them were able to do so besides the formal presentation by Michael Brodsky as part of the first panel. A public comment period was supposed to follow the agenda item. Read about it here.
  • May 18 – Comments due on the Middle River Bridge (Ferry replacement
    Read about the new bridge plans

April 2017

  • April 28th – Delta Stewardship Council meeting to approve amending the Delta Plan to incorporate “conveyance” (i.e., the Delta Tunnels).See the blog about it.P1000104
  • April 21st – Delta County Coalition sends objection letter to the Delta Stewardship Council regarding their plan to amend the Delta Plan with the California WaterFix Delta Tunnels.
  • April 17th – Comments Due on the Delta Stewardship Council proposal to amend the Delta Plan to include “conveyance” STCDA Comments Ideas/Suggestions.Comments submitted by STCDA
  • April 8 – DBYC holds the Fire & Ice Masquerade Ball to raise money for STCDA. The Splashers ran the event and wow, did they do a great job!25K-Check

March 2017

  • Mar 23, 2017 – Delta Stewardship Council meeting in Brentwood about amending the Delta Plan and adding a conveyance (i.e. the Delta Tunnels) project. The Community Center was packed, causing DSC staffers to scramble to open up the adjoining conference room and bring out more chairs to accommodate the crowd. Over half of the attendees sported the STCDA’s new “Save the Delta / No Tunnels / No Gates” tee shirts. Because of the obvious interest in agenda item #11, the DSC went directly to it. Many comments were given, all opposing the idea of amending the Delta Plan by adding tunnels; opposed to the tunnels altogether.
    Meeting in Brentwood Meeting in Brentwood - Jan and Mike waiting to give comments
    Meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, March 23, 2017. Photos by Richard Wisdom
    Susan Proesiher during the Meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council at the Brentwood Community Center (left), Jan and Mike, local realtor, Bob Wright (Friends of the River Legal Council), and others waiting to give comments (right)
  • Mar 13, 2017 – STCDA Town Hall Meeting. Once again, 450-500 people showed up in the Discovery Bay Elementary Gymnasium to hear an update about the status of the Delta Tunnels. Michael Brodsky, STCDA Legal Council, gave an upbeat encouraging presentation, saying we can stop the tunnels!

    The above photo by Richard Wisdom is from the article in the DB PressHere’s a video of Mr. Brodsky’s presentation:

    And a nice write-up by Galen Kusic:
    Jan McCleery, STCDA President, provided an overview of the impacts anticipated from the current tunnel plan; followed by STCDA Update provided by Michael Brodsky, STCDA Legal Council. Government representatives provided talks about the tunnels: Diane Burgis, Contra Costa County Commissioner, Jim Frazier, Assemblyperson, and Steve Glazer, Senator.

January 2017

  • Jan. 30, 2017 – The review period closed for the Final EIR/EIS for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California WaterFix (aka “Delta Tunnels”). Many requests were made by individuals and groups to extend the period. The State is ramrodding this project through without properly evaluating the impacts it will have on local communities and agriculture.


December 2016

  • Dec. 22, 2016 – Final EIR/EIS for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California WaterFix (aka “Delta Tunnels”) released.
  • Dec. 16, 2016 – Obama signs a massive water infrastructure bill that Feinstein slipped in a provision allowing increased pumping of Delta water, endangering salmon and the ecosystem.

November 2016

  • Nov. 30, 2016 – The Part I State Water Resources Control Board hearings, after much delay, were finally under way. STCDA’s “day in court” was scheduled for Nov. 30th in Sacramento. This was the hearing for protests about the permit being considered for the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to take water directly from the Sacramento River. Michael Brodsky, legal council, brought in two expert witnesses plus three Discovery Bay representatives: Jan McCleery, Captain Frank Morgan, and Mike Guzzardo. The entire day was reserved for STCDA to present their case.
  • Nov 21, 2016 – STCDA Board Meeting and Election of 2017 Officers. The next Board Meeting is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2017.

October 2016

  • Oct. 17, 2016 – Final testimonies submitted for the SWRCB permit protest. The process was difficult due to the splitting of recreation from Part I into Part II. For Discovery Bay, a boating and other boating and fishing communities, boating and fishing are a core part of the community, economy, etc. Yet all references to boating and fishing were censored out of the testimonies.

August 2016

  • Aug 25, 2016 – STCDA Board Meeting.

July 2016

  • Testimonies submitted for the SWRCB permit protest.

May 2016

  • STCDA and other “white hat” plaintiffs won law suits against the Delta Plan. The Water Contractors (who claimed the Delta Plan wasn’t giving them enough water) lost. Read all about it.

April 2016

  • The STCDA Board Meeting was held Monday, April 25th, at 6:00 p.m. at the Discovery Bay Yacht Club, in the Bilge Room.
  • Apr. 20, 2016 – A controversy erupted this week over Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Fiscal Year 2017 forecast of residential and municipal (M&I) groundwater charges. On April 19, Restore the Delta strongly criticized the District for including the WaterFix / Delta tunnels costs in the projected charges, and questioned the District’s forecasts of impacts on cities and residential well users. The District issued its own strong rebuttal on April 20. But the District’s rebuttal raises more questions than it answers. Read the details here.
  • Apr. 14, 2016 – Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties file a lawsuit to stop Metropolitan from purchasing the five Delta islands.
  • Apr. 11, 2016 – The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is spending $175 million to buy five islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

March 2016

  • Mar 29, 2016 – Contra Costa Water District Signs Secret Agreement with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), giving the California WaterFix an implicit buy-in, against the wishes of the Contra Costa County and Contra Costa citizens. GM Jerry Brown (oh no, not another Jerry Brown) Tells Employees We Now Have A Strong Water Quality ‘Insurance Policy.’ Contra Costa Water District agreed to drop their protest against allowing more salt water intrusion into the Delta in return for “insurance” from the DWR/State that, if they can’t operate their pumps due to salinity/water quality, they can receive water from the Delta Tunnels. That literally gives the California WaterFix the “Go Ahead” to proceed to extract even more water than they now do/should!
  • Mar. 28, 2016 – Save the California Delta Alliance (STCDA) welcomes a new Board Member. Susan Silva is now the Treasurer of STCDA.

January 2016

  • Jan. 28, 2016 (Thursday) – Pre-hearing conference to discuss the scope of the hearing and procedural issues and continuing.
  • Jan. 6, 2016 – STCDA learns of a recent lawsuit against the state (the DWR) which the DWR lost. (DISCLAIMER: Right now, this could be a rumor. STCDA will provide more information/updates once facts are corroborated). The case uncovered the fact that the state has been filing (for years) that they have ownership of various islands with levee issues and that they invested in restoring those islands as habitat restoration areas. The court ruled that the DWR did not have ownership (in fact, some islands had been purchased and sold several times since the DWR’s filing). The DWR did not do anything to restore the islands. But the islands are being used as acreage in their mitigation for the Delta Tunnels plus some of the islands are in the path of the Delta Tunnels.
  • Jan. 5, 2016 – STCDA met the State Water Resources Control Board’s deadline to file a protests against the state’s petition to divert water for the Delta Tunnels from the Sacramento River. The filing includes our Notice of Intent to Appear for Parts I and II of the hearing. The STCDA Protest is here.
  • Happy 2016! Here’s our 2015 Year in Review.


November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

  • Sep 23 – Due to comments received (thank you STCDA members for sending in comments), the ACOE extended their comment period from October 9 to November 9. Members are encouraged to ask for an even longer extension and to hold public meetings, in particular one in Discovery Bay during the evening when more concerned citizens can attend.
  • Sep 15 – Agreement reached with the U.S. Government and Westlands whereby the reclamation bureau would be relieved of the court-ordered requirement to provide drainage to Westlands cropland (estimated at $3 billion U.S. Taxpayer money). In return, Westlands will be relieved of its $350 million debt for their portion of the Central Valley Project and the government will lift limits on the size of Westlands farms eligible for subsidized water deliveries.
  • Sep 10 – State officials applied to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the latest in a series of permits they need to build the twin tunnels beneath the Delta, another indication of their intent to move forward with the $15 billion plan. Comment period ends October 9th. To read more, click here.

August 2015

  • Aug 26 – Westlands farmers try to destroy the Klamath Basin. Destroying the Delta isn’t enough for them. Read more here…
  • Aug 24 – More info from Burt Wilson about the Aug 18 Lois Wolk panel.
  • Aug 18 – Experts examine whether Delta Tunnels proposal is good for California. Wise words by Christina Swanson, Ph.D Director of the Science Center for the Natural Resources Defense Council:“On average, for the last decade and a half, more than half of the freshwater that would have flowed into the Delta or through the Delta no longer does. One of the things that has done is … created chronic manmade drought conditions,” said Swanson. “As far as the estuary is concerned, as far as the fish and the ecosystem are concerned, the estuary has been in a drought. In fact, in 11 of the last 15 years it’s been in a very, very severe drought. California has been in a drought for the past several years. The Delta’s been in a drought for decades.”“According to best available science that we have on the system, and it is an extremely well-studied system, the environmental variable that has the strongest relationship to influence environmental conditions and fisheries populations is flow,” Swanson said. “Consensus is very, very strong that the most likely to be effective approach to improve ecosystem conditions and strengthen and begin to recover fish populations is to, compared to existing conditions, enhance freshwater flow. It is by far the strongest variable.”

July 2015

  • July 28 and 29 – Public Meetings on the “California Water Fix” Delta Tunnel plan: July 28 in Sacramento, July 29 in Walnut Grove. No meetings in the South Delta.
    Videos of the event by Gene Beley, Central Valley Business TimesThe scene was like something from the 1960s at Berkeley. Hundreds crowded onto the sidewalk in front of the Sacramento Grand Sheraton were protesting to an unlistening governor bent on building water tunnels. Videos of the Sacramento Protests and Walnut Grove and write-up thanks to Gene Beley.See the videos and full report in the Central Valley Business Time’s article, Hundreds make final protest of governor’s tunnels.They were not real public meetings with presenters, an explanation of the changes in the plan from the last plan, and the ability to make public comments all can hear. Rather they are more like the failed “In-Delta Town Hall” meetings. The staffers had difficulty hearing the attendees questions due to the noise with so many of the public in the room, asking questions.
  • July 23 – due to the number of requests for a lengthened comment period, the Delta Tunnel plan comment period was extended to October 30, 2015.
  • Jul 18 – End of comment period for a new Delta Four Island proposal. The comment period ends July 18. This project is for two “reservoir” islands: Bacon Island and Webb Tract. Webb is just north of Franks Tract. They put in the False River Dam due to salinity concerns in that area. We need to comment that these reservoirs cannot be a reason to retain the False River Dam or add any more dams. That would be disastrous for the Delta. Two other islands are deemed “Habitat Islands:” Holland Tract and Bouldin Island.
  • July 10 – Revised BDCP Plan (now called the “California Water Fix” was released with only a 45-day comment period ending August 31. This new plan is only the Tunnel portion. Another plan, “EcoRestore” is the habitat restoration plan.

June 2015

  • Jun 8 – Issues continue for the Ferry and concerns continue to rise due to the False River Dam. See Contra Costa Times article.

    Directly south of Fisherman’s Cut is Bethel Island and the weak point in its levee system — Horseshoe Bend.

    “My concern is, with the increased velocities, it’s like shooting a water cannon at that cut,” said Anthony “Tony” Berzinas, board president of the Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District.

    “I’m not talking about water quality, I’m not talking about water supplies, I’m not talking about farming; I’m talking about life and death,” Berzinas said. “If this island gets breached after the reckless installation of the barrier, who’s going to pick up the pieces?”

  • Jun 1 – Due to the drastically increased flows in Fisherman’s Cut because of the False River Dam, the ferry from Jersey Island to Bradford Island was slammed into a tule berm and grounded twice. It had to be pulled out by one of Dutras tugs. The ferry captain made decision June 2nd not to run ferry due to dangerous current, leaving people stranded on island, or trying to get there.Read more at http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=28447.

May 2015

  • May 29 – False River barrier is completed.
  • May 8 – Protest at the False River Dam construction site.
  • May 5 – Installation of the rock dam in False River begins. On both sides are sheet pile wings to enable re-installation of a dam more easily the next time (without any discussion about long-term effects on navigation or public review).

April 2015

  • Apr 15 – State announces plans to install the False River Dam without finalizing the EIR/EIS review and comment process under the umbrella of Gov. Brown’s Emergency Drought declaration.
  • Apr 1 – Gov. Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15 which streamlined the permitting and review of emergency drought salinity barriers.

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

  • Jan 23 – Dams in the Delta! DWR announced intent to install 3 rock dams in Delta sloughs that would block boaters and potentially be dangerous to fish. For more information see the DWR’s IS/MND
  • Jan 2 – Water4Fish.org sends out an alert that another Bill sponsored by the San Joaquin agricultural members is coming up for vote early this year which will devastate the Central Valley salmon populations. The new Congress will take up these bills again in 2015. Water4Fish’s Letter-Writing Campaign.


December 2014

  • Dec 30 – Seattle’s Big Tunnel project has been stalled for the past year (driller stuck in the muck) and looks to be a 3 year project instead of 14 month. Does it show us what to expect with the BDCP Delta Tunnel project? See Let’s Learn from Others’ Mistakes for similarities.
  • Dec 19 – BDCP Announces revisions to the Delta Tunnel Plan claiming these are “major design change aimed at appeasing local residents.” First, there is nothing major. Second the changes do little to address the main concerns with the Delta Tunnels. Read more in our blog at: BDCP Announces Revisions.
  • Dec 1 – Save the California Delta Alliance (STCDA) holds annual Board Meeting and elects 2015 officers. View the About Us page for the list of 2015 officers.

November 2014

  • Nov 21 – Feinstein pulls her bill at this time. Hopefully she’ll do more “open” discussions before proposing something that would impact the Delta and Northern California to benefit the Westlands Water District. The state’s salmon fishing industry is glad the talks have ended. John McManus, executive director of the Golden State Salmon Association, called the potential legislation arising from the negotiations a “threat to our jobs and livelihood.”
  • Nov 19 – The media begins to report that Feinstein has been working behind closed doors with Westlands, Metropolitan Water District and Corporate Agribusiness leaders to draft a bill to move more water to Westlands. “Their California “drought relief” bill won’t address the drought, but would (1) override federal protections for Chinook salmon and delta smelt, (2) fast-track expensive and environmentally harmful new dams, and (3) make it harder to implement the federal mandate to double anadromous fish populations. This bill — a handout to the powerful Central Valley Ag industry — is rumored to be even worse than Senator Feinstein’s previous “drought” legislation, which was opposed by the environmental and fishing communities, many California legislators, and the Brown Administration.”
  • Nov 14 – State Treasurer’s office releases BDCP Affordability and Financing Considerations Report. Unfortunately, rather than being a truly independent analysis, it uses the information from the BDCP itself to review the data. As we’ve pointed out before, the BDCP report fails to adequately analyze the negative economic impacts the Tunnels would cause to recreation, commercial salmon fishing, Delta farmers, communities, and real estate. In addition, as previously reported, a truly independent economist, Dr. Jeffrey Michael’s cost-benefit analysis found that the BDCP would cost $2.50 for every $1 in benefits. Three separate analyses of the costs, benefits and financial burdens of the proposed Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), and its Peripheral Tunnels found it costs more than its benefits, and that it will impose a heavy financial burden on California businesses and families. Maven’s Notebook reports: “The Brown Administration has produced partial and scattered reports that the public will not find useful in determining whether this largest-ever California water project is worth the crushing cost.”

September/October 2014

  • The BDCP continues to produce literature sounding like all’s well and the Delta Tunnels are the greatest thing since sliced bread. They produced quite a nice (although VERY misleading) video posted on YouTube.
    The reason it is misleading is that it talks about exports being only 17% of the Delta flows. That doesn’t sound like a lot – right? Here’s their graphical representation of where the water flows:BDCP_Funny_StatsThe truth however is shown below:
    Actual StatsThe reason it’s misleading is that the status they use is for the wettest water year. The issue is California is getting drier and drier. It is the dry years that are killing the salmon. Since the year 2004, too much water has been exported to maintain a healthy Delta. Like all BDCP statistics, information is slanted to try to persuade the public that agriculture doesn’t account for 80 percent of the water usage in California and that it has increased phenomenally over the past 10-20 years.But if you wanted to complain about the BDCP’s misinformation in the YouTube video, that YouTube page, like everything else the BDCP does, does not accept comments. I didn’t even know that was an option on YouTube. One of our members took the time to write to complain:From: Peter Sustarich
    Subject: Re: California Water Action Plan and the BDCP
    Date: November 11, 2014 at 8:23:17 AM PST
    To: Bay Delta Conservation PlanTo whom it may concern;Very nice YouTube video of the proposed BDCP plans. However, it is interesting that it does NOT allow for comments on YouTube! Is there concern that YouTube viewers may see other viewpoints? Also it is truly NOT believable that the proposed twin 40 foot diameter tunnels will not end up taking more water from the Delta. As they say….REALLY!

    I therefore suspect the real unstated intentions of the BDCP as it relates to the twin tunnels. The twin tunnels are conveniently imbedded in the BDCP plan and any benefits and impacts of the tunnels are hiding behind the stated benefits that address “environmental” and “global warming” references. The twin tunnels, if truly viable, should be a stand project and voted on by the taxpayers.


    Pete Sustarich
    Tax payer

August 2014

July 2014

  • July 29, 2014 – Final day of the BDCP EIR comment period.
  • STCDA Submits formal comments on the BDCP
  • Rally at the Capital – Delivers over 4,000 petitions sent by STCDA from on-line petition and hand-gathered signatures.
  • July 7, 2014 – Assemblymember Jim Frazier hosts a Delta Water Meeting at the Discovery Bay Elementary Gym. Hundreds turn out to hear from a panel of government officials about what they are/aren’t going to do about the invasive weed issue this year.

May 2014

  • May 29, 2014 – The U.S. Department of the Interior and the California Natural Resources Agency today released the “Draft Implementing Agreement for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (IA)” for a 60-day public review and comment period.Lead state and federal agencies have also extended the public comment period for the Draft BDCP and associated Draft EIR/EIS by an additional 46 days to allow the public more time to review and comment. The comment period began on December 13, 2013 and will conclude on July 29, 2014.
  • May 27, 2014 – Carlson, Paul (Doug)@DWR emailed one of our members that …”the word that came down late yesterday, as follows: ‘We have assessed water supplies and demands. Based on this assessment, the emergency drought barriers will not be needed this year.'”Considerable planning went into preparing for the barriers, and all that may ultimately be used should this drought continue into a fourth consecutive wet year.”

April 2014

  • April 18, 2014 – DWR announces the Delta Barriers Project (the dams in False River, Sutter Slough and Steamboat Slough) has been avoided. In their Press Release, they state that “these barriers would have also worsened water quality conditions for some agricultural water users in the northern Delta, adversely affecting Delta fisheries and impacting boating and recreation in the Delta. DWR has concluded that it can avoid these impacts with the captured runoff from recent storms, at least in the short term, while reducing the amount of water needed from upstream reservoirs to control salinity in the Delta.”
    There is a caveat though. The Press Release also stated: “The recently released Drought Operations Plan calls for DWR to reassess the need for barriers in the fall and early winter, if dry conditions persist. DWR will continue to closely monitor water quality and storage capacity data in case barriers are needed later in the year to protect vital water supplies.”Therefore, the rock dams are not an immediate threat but they are not totally off-the-table.
  • April 15, 2014 – The US Army Corps of Engineers extends the SPK-2014-00187 Emergency Drought Barriers project comment period to April 29 per request.
  • April 1, 2014 – The US Army Corps of Engineers opens 15-day comment period (through April 16) concerning the California Department of Water Resources permit request to put dams across False River (west of Franks’ Tract), Steamboat and Sutter Sloughs.

March 2014

  • Mar 21, 2014 – The comment period for the Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and BDCP Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) was extended until June 13, 2014.

February 2014

  • Feb 12, 2014 – Delta Water Town Hall Meeting was held at the Discovery Bay Elementary Gym. Updates were provided by Jan McCleery, STCDA President; Mike McCleery (for Judy Smith, STCDA Treasurer); Mary Piepho, Contra Costa County Supervisor and Jim Frasier, CA Assemblyman. Mike McCleery and Michael Brodsky, STCDA Legal Council, each provided information about how to submit comments and issues relating to Discovery Bay and the South Delta.

January 2014

  • Jan 23, 2014 – Representative Nunes proposes the solution to the drought is to stop the outflow from the San Joaquin River (i.e., kill the few salmon that have started recovering in that river) and turn the pumps back on (which will bring salt water into the Delta affecting farmers and drinking water there) so those local farmers can get more water. No one is willing to admit that there just is no more water to squeeze out of the Delta.
    PHv3F.St.4An astute reader accurately points out on a related article how the Westlands farmers’ water contract is actually worded:

      “3 (b) Because the capacity of the Project to deliver Project Water has been constrained in years and may be constrained in the future due to many factors including hydrologic conditions and implementation of Federal and State laws, the likelihood of the Contractor actually receiving the amount of Project Water set out in subdivision (a) of this Article in any given Year is uncertain.”

    Yet Westlands farmers are very surprised after expanding desert acreage and converting line crops to permanent, water-thirty almond trees when their water becomes uncertain due to drought.

  • Jan 17, 2014 – Governor Brown declares a drought.
  • January, 2014 – After a year of almost no rain, January remains dry with no relief in sight.


December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

  • Sept. 20, 2013 – State Misses Deadline for BDCP Documentation Release. In a Sept. 20 letter, California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird informed the U.S. Interior Department that the draft environmental review of the tunnel project would not be formally released until Nov. 15 — six weeks later than the deadline set this year by Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration.
  • September 3, 2013 – In-Delta Meeting in Brentwood. Residents from Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Oakley and other local communities attend but are disappointed with the format and venue. See People Show Up. No questions are answered and the press reporter from Central Valley Business Times is told he can’t record the public meeting (oops – not allowing the Press at a public meeting would be a violation of the Brown Act). This brought good press coverage about the press being asked to leave a public meeting: Brown Administration Bars Reporter from Filming.

August 2013

  • August 22, 2013 – In-Delta Meetings began in Clarksburg. But the residents were disappointed that the representative sent had no answers or information.
  • August 22, 2013 – Meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council in Sacramento. Agenda. The meeting was held but items of interest including the levee maintenance were tabled.
  • August 21, 2013 – Northern California (Chico area) chimes in about what the tunnels mean to them in meeting in Chico including including BDCP’s Jerry Meral and Congressman John Garamendi. See Press Reports:
  • Oroville Breaking News Garamendi says “The Bay Delta is the largest and most important estuary on the West Coast.” He believes the project won’t bring more water to California, which is what the state drastically needs. “It has the capacity to suck the delta dry,” he said. “It is the most destructive environmental project to ever be seen in the West Coast, and potentially this nation.”
  • Paradise News post.
  • August 19 – Meeting in Placer County discusses the BDCP Plan would drain Folsom Reservoir in the 3rd year of any drought, causing grave concerns for upstream water users. See Flaws in Delta Planning. Placer County Officials point to the lack of realistic modeling being done by the BDCP.
  • August 13 – Brown administration proposes shifting the tunnel alignment to the east in the North Delta. See SacBee article. Click here to view the new alignment maps. The new alignment goes through Staten Island, a state refuge for sandhill cranes created through $23 million in bonds, raising many environmental issues.
    The alignment in the South Delta remains the same, thus the concerns for boating and recreation are still huge.
  • August 12 – The Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) “Delta Plan” was approved by the State Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and will go into effect September 1, 2013. (This is not to be confused with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) or “Tunnel Plan” which is still in Draft form. See the The Plans Tab for more information about these two plans). Next the plan will be submitted to the CA Secretary of State.
  • August 10 – The BDCP Proponents get together in Fresno with friends to tell each other how great the BDCP and tunnels will be. See Gene Beley’s report on the meeting called “Dispatch from another planet“.
  • August 8 – The BDCP Finance Working Group meeting was held to review the newly released State Economic Report. For STCDA’s critique of the Economic Report click Ludicrous state economic plan. For webcast go to their website. Here’s the BDCP Press Release about the Economic Plan For a good summary of all of the things wrong with the state’s economic analysis, click here to see the RTD review.
  • August 3 – The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) denies a misguided request by California agribusinesses and property rights advocates to take Puget Sound’s critically endangered orcas off the endangered species list. It seemed odd to me that Westlands Water District would be going after Orcas. Our news blog – Westlands versus the Orcas reports about why this occurred.

July 2013

  • July 28, 2013 – The Courtland Pear Fair featured floats decorated with “Stop the Tunnel” signs plus many other people carrying signs opposing the BDCP and the tunnels. See Where’s the Press Coverage?. There has been no press coverage of this large community protest. See the video in Where’s the Press Coverage?.
  • July 17, 2013 – Discovery Bay citizens climb on the bus to go to Sacramento to protest the Tunnels at the BDCP Meeting. See Discovery Bay got On the Bus and More on the BDCP July 17 Meeting. They were joined in Sacramento by others in the Delta area who joined in the protest. The protest was on the Sacramento Channel 3 6 o’clock news but not carried by any press.
    BDCP Meeting
  • July 7, 2013 – CalTrans workers remove “Save the Delta/Stop the Tunnels” signs (STCDA plus RTD signs) from private property near highways.STCDA legal council is reviewing the legality of CalTrans’ actions. See our post, CalTrans’ Sign Removal.

June 2013

  • June 17, 2013 – Various groups groups on Monday, June 17 will announce the filing of lawsuits to stop the Delta Plan. To view the STCDA Law Suit Filing click here. General reasons include:
    1. The Delta Reform Act told the State Water Resources Control Board to do a water flow investigation to find out what it would take to protect the estuary. The state board turned in a flow recommendation and the Council didn’t use the flows in the plan.
    2. The Delta Reform Act also instructed the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to report to the Council what the biological goals and objectives should be for species in the Delta. The CDFW wrote hundreds of pages in a report and turned it in to the Council. The Council not only did not use it, but didn’t even mention the goals and objectives in the plan.
    3. The Delta Reform Act instructed the Delta Protection Commission to write a report about economic sustainability. The Commission wrote the report and turned it in to the Council – and again, they didn’t use it.

    In all three cases, the documents were inconvenient to the approval of the tunnels.

    The STCDA filing adds specific STCDA concerns including:

    1. Representing the large number of members in Discovery Bay, who own waterfront homes with attached docs in the Delta; plus they and many others who swim, fish, boat, water-ski, wakeboard and otherwise recreate in the Delta”
    2. Failure to address the possibility of and negative impacts that result from gates such as the Two Gates Fish Protection Project
    3. That the council has abdicated its responsibility to consider broad policy alternatives to “Big Conveyance” and have not followed the legislature’s mandate to “expand statewide water storage” – in particular to address a meaningful re-operation and conjuctive use strategy as recommended by STCDA in numerous council meetings.
  • June 8, 2013 – The Save the Delta Charity Golf Event was held at the Discovery Bay Golf and Country Club. Despite the temperature soaring to degrees, there was a full field of golfers who enjoyed the event. The 129 golfers had fun despite the heat. Michael Brodsky, the Save the California Delta Alliance (STCDA) Legal Council, was the guest speaker during dinner, giving the audience insight into the reasons why the giant tunnels are being proposed, the effects the tunnels and their construction would have on Delta water quality, and STCDA’s planned steps to stop the tunnels. The live auction following Mr. Brodsky’s speech was generously supported and we gained many more volunteers to get on the buses to Sacramento.Discovery Bay Golf & Country Club

    Although no one won any of the four the evasive hole-in-one prizes, over $24,000 was raised due to the generosity of the community and attendees. And a special thanks to the Discovery Bay Golf and Country Club!

May 2013

  • May 29, 2013 –BDCP releases final Chapters 8-12 of the Plan.
  • May 24, 2013 – The Westlands Water District Files against the Delta Plan saying the plan undermines the coequal goals of water supply reliability by seeking to reduce water conveyed through the Delta for existing needs.
  • May 23, 2013 – The Delta Protection Commission voted 9 to 2 to oppose the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and to support study of all the alternatives offered to the BDCP. Three alternatives included U.S. Rep. John Garamendi’s “A Water Plan for All of California”, the Environmental Water Caucus'”Responsible Expors Plan”, Dr. Pyke’s “Western Alignment” Sherman Island alternative. Links to all are on the right under “BDCP Alternatives”.
  • May 16, 2013 -The Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) approves the Delta Plan.
  • May 13, 2013 – As Governor Jerry Brown continues to push for the construction of the peripheral tunnels under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) a new analysis released on May 13 by the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reveals that the salmon fishery is limping along at only 20 percent of the population goal required by state and federal law. Read the impacts to the salmon fishermen and the recommended steps in Dan Batcher’s article “Bay-Delta salmon population just one fifth of mandated goal”.
  • May 10, 2013 – The Draft BDCP Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was released.
  • May 9, 2013 – They’re at it again! US Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA) has introduced legislation to exempt the Central Valley and State Water projects from Delta pumping restrictions required under the Endangered Species Act to protect Central Valley salmon and Delta smelt. See Dan Batcher’s article for more details. Or read the text of the bill at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1927/text.This is reminiscent of the addition to the Senate Jobs Bill attempted by Sen. Feinstein in February 2011 to suspend the Environmental Species Act (ESA) protections for Chinook salmon and mandate certain pumping regimes from the Delta. That addition was in response to requests from her friend and Paramount Farms’ Stewart Resnick.The current Costa bill is supported by San Joaquin Valley water districts, including the Westlands Water District, Friant Water Authority, and the San Luis and Delta Mendota Water Authority. Other backers of the bill include the Latino Water Coalition, an agribusiness “Astroturf” group, and [of coures] Paramount Farms, owned by agribusiness tycoon Stewart Resnick, the largest orchard fruit grower in the world.And the same people, backers of the BDCP, wonder why we don’t trust them to operate the pumps in a way that will restore the Delta!
  • May 10, 2013 – The Consultant Administrative Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) is now available online for public review.
  • May 7, 2013 – The redline version of the Delta Stewardship Council’s “Delta Plan”, showing the changes made from the Nov. 12, 2012 Final Staff Draft, is available here. It is set to be adopted by the Council at its May 16-17, 2013 meeting.

April 2013

March 2013

  • At its March 28-29, 2013 meeting, the Delta Stewardship Council gave direction to staff to complete the Final Delta Plan so it could be presented to the members for adoption.
  • March 20, 2013 – BDCP Public Meeting in Sacramento for comments on the BDCP Draft Plan Chapters 1-4. Several STCDA members and many other private citizens attended. Most attendees were hostile to the plan. Jerry Meral, BDCP, stated that there are no “Gates” in the BDCP plan due to boaters concerns. Believable? We will see.
  • March 14, 2013 – BDCP Draft Plan Chapters 1-4 is released.

February 2013

January 2013

  • January 24, 2013 (Thursday) A group of STCDA members from Discovery Bay, Stockton and the East Bay traveled to Sacramento to attend the Delta Council public hearing. Five stood up to deliver their comments regarding the lacking of The Plan to protect the South Bay and other concerns.
  • January 14, 2013 – End of public comment period on the “Final Draft Delta Plan”. STCDA’s legal council submits Rulemaking comments for the Delta Plan finding the Delta Plan inadequate since it does not take account of the peripheral canal (currently proposed in the form of tunnels) or provide the Council adequate criteria to assess the canal when it comes for approval and to insure adequate protection of the Delta after the canal goes into operation. Additional concerns are the Council’s decision to not study conveyance options/alternatives.
  • January 9, 2013 – SFGate publishes article “Governor’s Delta Plan is a Big Mistake”.

    Great article. Concise. A must-read.


December 2012

  • Dec. 31, 2012 – The State Water Board released a draft Substitute Environmental Document (SED) in support of changes to San Joaquin River flow and southern Delta water quality objectives including:
    1. Improving fresh water flows February through June Lower San Joaquin River salmon bearing tributaries (releasing water from the dams on Merced, Tuolumne, and Stanislaus rivers) to support and maintain the natural production of fish populations migrating through the Delta; and
    2. Revised (lower) southern Delta salinity objectives to reduce salt content in order to protect agricultural beneficial uses in the southern Delta.

    Comment period ends March 29, 2013.

  • Dec. 1, 2012 – The Delta Independent Review Panel releases its report on the current adaptive management and long-term operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project (CVP/SWP) Long-term Operations Opinions (LOO) that include Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPA) designed to alleviate jeopardy to endangered species “Report of the 2012 Delta Science Program Independent Review Panel (IRP) on the Long-term Operations Opinions (LOO) Annual Review”. The Independent Panel leaves little confidence in either the scientific methods currently employed or the various agencies ability for adaptive management.

November 2012

  • Nov. 30, 2012 – Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) release the “Final Draft Delta Plan” with a 45-day public comment period. The PDF of the Combined Chapters contains the main plan. The Appendices and additional information are available from the Delta Stewardship Council Webpage.
  • Nov. 30, 2012 – The Delta Independent Science Board (ISB) conducts their monthly meeting. Discussion included the lack of overarching strategy vs. separate operating agencies (Army Corp of Engineers, BDCP, Fish & Game, etc.) and concerns with lack of results in current habitat restoration projects and lack of concrete goals to define what the Delta Plan is expected to achieve.
  • Nov. 15, 2012 – Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) meeting in Sacramento discussed a new plan for The Meadows restoration, invasive species (bass or weeds?), the Peripheral Canal (Delta Tunnels) and plans by the Independent Scientific Board (ISB) to review the Peripheral Canal Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Of note – the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) representative comments included that the stripped bass is an invasive species that should be eradicated because it eats Delta Smelt and that the ISB shouldn’t bother making a thorough review of the EIR and instead “let’s just get started building the canal”. For more details on the meeting, see Report on the November 15th Delta Stewardship Council”.

October 2012

  • Oct. 11, 2012 – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) announced the introduction of H.R. 6484, the SAFE Levee Act, which would help guard the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta region against the growing risk of a catastrophic flood by strengthening the Delta’s levees. The bill would also provide a complete cost-benefit study on the impact of the Peripheral Tunnel proposal, which the state and federal governments have thus far refused to do. House Representatives Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton, CA), Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento, CA), George Miller (D-Martinez, CA), and Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena, CA) have joined as lead cosponsors of the legislation.

September 2012

  • Restore the Delta releases the important documentary “Over Troubled Waters” and begins showings throughout Contra Costa Country. See Restore the Delta’s website for show times and places.

August 2012

  • Concern about the Governor’s Delta Tunnels project grows beyond the Delta communities. See SFGate article Some Thoughts on the Delta Tunnels.
  • The Franks Tract gates project status is that it has been delayed (no additional details provided).

July 2012

  • The California Legislature recently failed to pass legislation requiring a cost-benefit analysis before the peripheral canal or tunnel is built—and it is no surprise that the bill garnered so much opposition from corporate agribusiness and southern California water agencies.
  • The first comprehensive economic benefit-cost analysis of the water conveyance tunnels at the center of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), conducted by the Eberhardt School of Business’s Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Pacific (UOP), reveals that the peripheral canal does not make economic or financial sense.Read more: Delta tunnel Costs are 2.5 Times the Benefits.
  • July 25, 2012 – State and federal leaders on Wednesday reaffirmed their commitment to build a giant pair of tunnels to divert the Sacramento River out of the Delta. Environmental groups and local politicians continue to stand firm against the project, arguing that simply moving the diversion works upstream won’t solve the Delta’s problems and may create new ones. Read Sacramento Bee article.

February 2012

  • Feb. 29, 2012 – The US House of Representative approves the Nunes Bill HR 1837 which would give senior water rights to the now junior farmers (like the big Corporate farmers including Stewart Resnick’s Paramont Farms in the Westlands water district) over Delta and other California family farmers. The Bill would also insure immense quantities of water for these farmers for 40 years (regardless of drought or availability of water) over all other users (including urban users in L.A.)
  • Feb. 2, 2012 – The California Fish and Game Commission took final action to reject the Department of Fish and Game’s controversial proposed changes to striped bass regulations.


November 2011

  • Nov. 16, 2011 – Comments due on the BDCP Amendment that puts Water Contractors in the drivers seat for the Environmental Review process for the Peripheral Canal. STCDA Legal Council submits formal comments – Click Here
  • Nov. 7, 2011 – STCDA Legal Council requests seat on the BDCP Steering Committee representing Local Delta Interests
  • Nov. 1, 2011 – STCDA receives information that they will be going ahead with either Franks Tract gates or 2-Gates or both in the near future.

October 2011

  • STCDA learns that the pre-Old River/Connection Slough Gates project on Franks Tract is being moved forward

March 2011

  • Mar. 22, 2011 – STCDA Board for 2011/2012
    – Karen Mann President
    – Mike Guzzardo Media Relations
    – Peter Hills Treasurer


August 2010

  • Aug. 30, 2010 – final version of AJR-38 2 Gates Bill “Enrolled”.
  • Aug. 27, 2010 – The Delta Stewardship Council adopts an Interim Plan that is the first of two primary documents required by statute to guide state and local agency planning and management efforts in the Delta.
  • Aug. 18, 2010 – The CA Senate approves AJR-38 with only one opposing Nay vote from Sen. Mark DeSaulnier
  • Aug. 10, 2010 – The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water (including Sen. Lois Wolk) voted unanimously to pass AJR-38, the bill to study and implement the 2-Gates project.
  • Aug. 9, 2010 – The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water analyses AJR-38 and identifies the Delta Communities’ grave concerns about 2-Gates in the resolution analysis.
  • Aug. 9, 2010 – The legislature voted yes on AB-1265 to take the Water Bond off the ballot in November and postpone it until 2012 due to realization it would not pass in November. Citizens were calling for a re-write of the bond and not a delay.

July 2010

  • July 20, 2010 – State Water Resources Control Board California Environmental Protection Agency issued a draft Development of Flow Criteria for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Ecosystem report.
  • July 15, 2010 – Delta Council releases 2nd Draft Plan. Comments due Aug. 3.

June 2010

  • June 3, 2010 – AB 2049 which would have helped stop farmers from profiteering from resale of water and would have helped protect the ground water and aquifers in the Central Valley currently being depleted failed the Assembly.

May 2010

  • May 24, 2010 – Unfortunately, AJR 38 passed by the Assembly and is on to the Senate. Will go to the Senate Committee first for review. Concerned citizens should voice their issues with the Two Gates project to their representatives.
  • May 11, 2010 – the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife got together for a second “Oversight Hearing: Delta Stewardship Council and Bay Delta Conservation Plan Progress and Update.” (The first oversight hearing was in early March.) AJR 38 was amended to remove sections referring to water rights and allocations. Mary Piepho, Contra Costa County Supervisor, spoke in opposition. AJR 38 was adopted as ammended.
  • May 5, 2010 – The updated website for the South Delta Improvement Project Temporary Barriers Project changed it’s wording from “Permanent gates are planned for construction beginning 2010” to an unspecified timeframe but still states that “The permanent gates are a major component of the South Delta Improvements Program (SDIP) which is currently in the planning, design, and environmental documentation development processes”.
  • May 5, 2010 – Assembly Bill 2336: Assemblymember Fuller introduced AB 2336 (April 11, 2010) to terminate the management and protection of the public’s striped bass fishery that inhabits the Bay-Delta estuary. The bill was amended (April 15) to instead send the issues of estuary’s fishery declines to be reviewed by Delta Stewardship’s Council “Independent Science Board”. The “Rationale” given for this Bill was interesting in that it excludes impacts of the pumps: “to reduce or eliminate the impact of significant stressors on California’s native fish populations other than the pumps that export water out of the Delta, including nonnative fish species.

April 2010

  • April 2010 – National Geographic Magizine publishes special “Water” issue. See PDF version of the article or view online by clicking the National Geographic Water link on the right side of this page.
  • Apr. 29, 2010 – The Delta Council issues an Invitation for Comments on the “Draft Interim Plan” (which includes the 2-Gates project).
  • Apr. 27, 2010 – AB 1594 introduced by Assemblymember Alyson Huber to require a full legislative vote to approve any proposed peripheral canal around the California Delta was killed in its first policy hearing today for lack of a second motion to take a vote. Supporters of AB 1594 are very disappointed that such a simple, straightforward bill, designed to stop Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s peripheral canal from being built without legislative oversight and a fiscal analysis, didn’t receive a second motion from the Committee members.
  • Apr. 20, 2010 – The five Delta County Supervisors request funding to support local implementation of the 2009 Delta legislation.
  • Apr. 15, 2010 – In a move designed to avoid complete failure, Assemblymember Fuller (Bakersfield) struck the entire contents of her bill during the hearing held by the State Assembly’s Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on April 13 that would have sent the estuary’s striped bass fishery on a path toward oblivion. The amended bill would send the issues of estuary’s fishery declines to be reviewed by Delta Stewardship’s Council “Independent Science Board”.
  • Apr. 14, 2010 – Assemblymember Alyson Huber reintroduces a bill, AB 1594, that would prohibit construction of a peripheral canal around the Delta without a full fiscal analysis and a vote of the legislature.
  • Apr. 13, 2010 – California Sportsfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) and supporters meet at the capital to protest Bill AB2336.
  • Apr. 11, 2010 – Assemblymember Fuller introduces AB 2336 to terminate the management and protection of the public’s striped bass fishery that inhabits the Bay-Delta estuary.
  • Apr. 1, 2010 – West Coast Salmon Summit hosted by Congressmen George Miller and Mike Thompson.
  • Apr. 1, 2010 – The seating of the Delta Stewardship Council occurred. It “happened” to coincide with the West Coast Salmon Summit which contributed to a glaring absence of Delta supporters at the historic seating of the Stewardship Council. The absence of Delta support in the room was noted by one of the public commentators.
  • Apr. 1, 2010 – The Department of Water Resources announced they will be installing a Non-Physical Barrier (NPB) at the head of Old River (near Lathrop). The NPB will not prevent navigation. The Operating Schedule shows this NPB and other temporary gates planned for removal before year end.

March 2010

  • Mar. 31, 2010 – Six months after the court-ordered release of water from a Central Valley dam, the San Joaquin River is now reconnected with San Francisco Bay, a major development in the river’s long-term recovery and re-establishment of chinook salmon populations.
  • Mar. 29, 2010 – Jan McCleery named Exec. Director of the STCDA (replacing Dave Dove who remains as a key resource and steering committee member). STCDA Board for 2010/2011
    – Jan McCleery President
    – Karen Mann Vice President
    – Mike Guzzardo Media Relations
    – Peter Hills Treasurer.
  • Mar. 23, 2010 – Alternet Article gives accurate information about current Delta issues: “The Looming Water Disaster That Could Destroy California, and Enrich Its Billionaire Farmers”.
  • Mar. 22, 2010 – The State Water Resources Control Board will hold a public informational proceeding on Monday, March 22, to develop flow criteria for the Delta ecosystem necessary to protect public trust resources.
  • Mar. 1, 2010 – STCDA Town Hall Meeting. Guest speakers include Mary Peipho (CC Supervisor), Susanna Schlendorf (District Director for Assemblymember Joah Buchanan), David Nesmeth (Environmental Water Caucus) and Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla (RestoreTheDelta.org). Our organization’s name change from “Save the San Francisco Bay and Delta Foundation” (SFBDF) to “Save the California Delta Alliance” (STCDA) announced.

February 2010

  • Feb. 26, 2010 – Diane Feinstein withdraws her Amendment to the Senate Jobs Bill.
  • Feb. 25, 2010 – AB 38 – Assembly Joint Resolution No. 38 is introduced by Assembly Members Arambula and Caballero
  • Feb. 19, 2010 – AB 35 – Assembly Joint Resolution No. 35 introduced.
  • Feb. 11, 2010 – Diane Feinstein authors Amendment to the Senate Jobs Bill to suspend the Environmental Species Act (ESA) protections for Chinook salmon and mandate certain pumping regimes from the Delta.

January 2010

  • Jan. 23, 2010 – League of Women Voters’ Delta Water Panel in Antioch attracted hundreds of concerned citizens and legislative representatives
  • Jan. 18, 2010 – Holidays are over and the SFBDF activities begin again. Although the 2 Gates are currently postponed, the State’s plans for the Peripheral Canal and increased exports are alive and well.


December 2009

November 2009

  • Nov. 30, 2009 – Donations gathered allowed the SFBDF to hire scientists to work with lawyer to put together an 85-page response to the USBR
  • Nov. 25-30, 2009 – Comments and letters pour into the USBR from Discovery Bay CSD (with concerns about water treatment impacts, water quality, etc., etc.; the RBOC, the Sheriff and Marine Patrol. All with serious concerns
  • Nov. 25, 2009 – Water War flack – RestoreTheDelta.org calls out phony organization posting ads (showing the Delta as a toilet bowl) paid for by “Friends of the Delta” out of Newport Beach, California. When they called their office, the phone was answered by the Sheldon Group, a public relations firm, representing Southern California water interests and developers
  • Nov. 11, 2009 – Contra Costa County calls for an extension to the 2 Gates comment period
  • Nov. 13, 2009 – USBR extends the comment period for the 2 Gates Project to Nov. 30
  • Nov. 14, 2009 – SFBDF meets with Brentwood City Council, gets support from the San Francisco Yacht Club, spends another weekend passing out comment cards at Safeways
  • Nov. 23, 2009 – Six federal agencies want the public to comment on key issues the agencies should address in the short-term work plan they are developing to ensure a sustainable water supply and restoring the environmental integrity of the California Bay-Delta ecosystem. Comments due by Tuesday, Dec. 1
  • Nov. 23, 2009 – KGO airs interview with SFBDF Media Relations Mike Guzzardo
  • Nov. 23, 2009 – E-Mail response from US Sen. Feinstein’s office applauds the passage of the 5 Water Bills and actions to move more water from the north to the south
  • Nov. 20, 2009 – The Army Corp of Engineers extends its comment period to Dec. 30, 2009
  • Nov. 9, 2009 – The SFBDF hosts a town hall. Once again the Discovery Bay citizens turn out and fill the elementary school gym to overflowing.
  • Nov. 4, 2009 – At 3 AM the 5 Water Bills (including Bond Package) are approved by the California legislature.
  • Nov. 4, 2009 – SFBDF received feedback that they have shaken up the Bureau of Reclamation and who did not anticipate such strong response. Dave Dove delivered the flyers to Sacramento today and the Bureau of Reclamation was clearly was blown away by the bulk of responses.
  • Nov. 4, 2009 – Reply received from Jerry McNerney. Jerry McNerney is definitely on our side!
  • Nov. 1, 2009 – The Army Corp of Engineers begins its permitting process for the 2 Gates Project – Comment period ends Nov. 30, 2009. Lots of community activity in response to these projects!

October 2009

  • Oct. 31, 2009 – SFBDF grass-roots effort goes into first gear. Flyers are passed out at the Safeway store, comment cards solicited (Comment period ends in 2 weeks!), lawyer is consulted with In parallel other organizations – the RBOC, RestoreTheDelta.org, etc. – communicate with their members. Local leaders such as Mary Piepho raise the issue upward.
  • Oct. 30, 2009 – SFBDF mailing list is created from local groups (DBWGC, DBYC, attendees at the USBR meeting, etc.) Citizens are encouraged to submit comments to the USBR 2 Gates project
  • Oct. 29, 2009 – Discovery Bay Yacht Club discussed the 2 Gates meeting and kicks off a grass-roots effort. The Save the San Francisco Bay and Delta Foundation (SFBDF) is formed lead by:
    – Dave Dove as President
    – Karen Mann Vice President
    – Mike Guzzardo Media Relations
    – Peter Hills Treasurer.
    Website www.noDeltaGates.com established.
  • Oct 27, 2009 – USBR meeting in Discovery Bay to discuss the 2 Gates project brings out citizens – they fill the elementary school gymnasium to standing room only
  • Oct 19, 2009 – Received email from the US Bureau of Reclamations that they had issued their Draft 2 Gates Fish Protection Project EA/FONSI with 30-day comment period ending Nov. 16. Everyone began spreading the word.
  • Oct 15, 2009 – US Senate (backed by Feinstein and Boxer) approve US funding for 2 Gates and other projects to increase exports to the Central Valley

September 2009

  • Sep. 31, 2009 – Susanna Schlendorf, District Director for Joan Buchanan provided information on the 2 Gates project. She believed that the 2 Gates project was likely “done deals” due to stimulus funding from the US government
  • Sep. 22, 2009 – BDCP 5-hour Workshop was held in Brentwood (chaired by Karla Nemeth). Citizens attended to get answers about 2 Gates. BDCP said they weren’t involved in the 2 Gates project (although the gates were shown on all their maps labeled as permanent salinity gates!) The US Bureau of Reclamations representatives were in attendance (the organization that WAS responsible for 2 Gates) but told the attendees that they didn’t have any information to report on.
  • Sep. 16, 2009 – The USBR sent email to distribution list that they were completing a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA), which then would have a 30-day public review and comment period
  • Sep. 15, 2009 – CA Sen. DeSaulinier’s office received an update from the USBR that the bids for the 2 Gates came in double their expected estimate due in large part to the expedited schedule. The 2 Gates schedule (installation in October 2009) was being delayed
  • Sep. 11, 2009 – Legislators from the five Delta Counties worked through the night to defeat the Peripheral Canal Bills . . . or so they thought. The Governor extended the session. Another round of letter writing to defeat the 2 Gates project. And another letter to the editor of the Discovery Bay Press.
  • Sep. 9, 2009 – Information provided by CA Sen. DeSaulnier’s office obtained from the USBR about the 2 Gates Project raised even more boating and safety concerns.
  • Sep. 8, 2009 – The topic of the 2 Gates Project was discussed at the Discovery Bay Yacht Club (DBYC).
  • Sep. 2, 2009 – Ongoing letter writing campaign from a growing number of concerned citizens. Expanded beyond California legislators to include US Senators Feinstein and Boxer and Congressman McNerney.

August 2009 – IT BEGINS !

    • Aug. 28, 2009 – Discovery Bay Press runs a front-page article on the 2 Gates Project (The paper began regularly covering 2 Gates status and events.)
    • Aug. 28, 2009 – Discovery Bay letter writing campaign conducted.
    • Aug. 28, 2009 – Supervisor Piepho sends plea to Congressman Jerry McNerney asking for his help regarding the 2 Gates project.
    • Aug. 27, 2009 – At the Discovery Bay Sheriff’s open house, citizens talk to the Marine Patrol who had no idea about the 2 Gates plans even though the gates are right in the middle of their normal rescue operations. Said it would be a big problem.
    • Aug. 26, 2009 – Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC) issue a Call to Arms to all boaters and yacht clubs regarding the 2 Gates.
    • Aug. 19, 2009 – Roberta Goulart of the Contra Costa Water Agency attends Discovery Bay CSD meeting to talk about the 2 Gates project. The office had the location of the 2 Gates by Frank’s Tract rather than the current location in the center of the South Delta (i.e., the USBR changed the location without notifying any county representatives).
    • Aug. 16-17 – Million Boater Float-In demonstration in Sacramento.
    • Aug. 13, 2009 – County Supervisor Mary Piepho’s office requests DWR representative speak to the CSD due to letters from concerned citizens.
    • Aug. 12, 2009:
      – Emails were sent to the EPA about 2 Gates. No reply was received.
      – Letter to the Editor ran in the local newspaper (Discovery Bay Press).
      – State Senator Mark DeSaulnier’s office said he was opposed to the
      Peripheral Canal but had no comments/concern about the 2 Gates
    • Aug. 8, 2009 – The Discovery Bay Press was asked why 2 Gates hadn’t been covered. Response was that it wasn’t the type of issue normally covered by the small local papers.
    • Aug. 6, 2009 – CalFed meeting was held on 2 Gates held in Sacramento – few people were aware of it.
      Attendees said that very few of the important issues have been considered yet the project was rushing ahead. (The 2
      Gates project was called “The biggest environmental experiment ever conducted” at the meeting)
    • Aug. 2-5, 2009 – Discovery Bay citizans began seeking information about 2 Gates. Contacted the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and RestoreTheDelta.org, communicated with the local Community Services District (CSD) (town Board), began seeking information from government representatives. Began informing neighbors and friends about the 2-Gates project, posted letters to the editor. Others joined in the letter-writing.
    • Aug. 1, 2009 – Bass Fisherman Bobby Barrack passed out flyers to boats anchored in the Mildred Island anchorage informing them about the 2 Gates Project with installation scheduled OCTOBER 2009 in Old River and Connection Slough

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