Posted by: Jan | November 12, 2017

Pro Delta Bass Fisherman Day

November 11 was Simm’s 7th Annual Pro Delta Day for Professional Bass Fishermen. Jan McCleery and Bill Wells represented STCDA on the Delta Conservation Panel. The event was held at SugarBarge on Bethel Island. It was fun for me be back at SugarBarge. Our family used to go there every Friday night for dinner. We’d leave Silicon Valley, stop at SugarBarge for dinner, then head to Russo’s Marina to spend the night on our boat. On Saturday we’d take the boats out for a weekend on the Delta.

The Pro Delta Day was a great event, a record turnout, and this year’s bass fishing award (again) went to Bobby Barrack and his fishing partner Brett Hite.

Clockwise from top left: Simms products on display, record turnout at the SugarBarge, Winners of the bass fishing tournament Bobby Barrack, Professional Angler and Bass Elite Fisherman Brett Hite, Bobby with Jan McCleery, STCDA, John Sherman the organizer of the event

If you look back at the events on our Event Tracker page, the very first event was August 1, 2009, the event that started Save the California Delta Alliance’s efforts. Our entire history was due to Bobby Barrack passing out fliers one early weekend morning, alerting Jan and Mike McCleery (who were anchored out at Mildred that morning) about the “2-Gates Fish ‘Protection’ Project” which was misnamed, like many of the State’s projects. The project was to install two permanent gates (aka dams) in the Delta, one in Old River between Holland Cut Marina and Bethel Island; the second in Connection Slough. Those dams would have virtually cut off all boating traffic between Bethel Island and the rest of the South Delta and severely limit the ability of Discovery Bay boaters to take their boats in and out of Discovery Bay. After seeing that flyer and finding out about the dreadful project, Jan and Mike couldn’t find anyone that even knew about it, not our Contra Costa Supervisor, local representatives, or state senator. Only our Assemblyperson knew it was going to happen, had been trying to fight it, and said it sadly was a “done deal.”

The Discovery Bay community mobilized, held meetings, had the USBR come to present their 2-Gates project and 500 angry citizens showed up in the DB Elementary Gym to complain. The USBR didn’t know anyone was against the project! The presence of so many angry citizens got all of our representatives listening and Jerry McNerney, our US Representative, jumped in and held a meeting with all of the parties: USBR, County Supervisor, Army Corp of Engineers, RBOC, and Discovery Bay representatives. The EPA chimed in and concluded the gates wouldn’t “Protect” fish, they would kill them. In 2010 the project was withdrawn.

Then we found out about the Peripheral Canal . . . now Delta Tunnels/California “WaterFix” (another misnomer). In that battle, again citizens have mobilized, attended meetings in Sacramento, protested, entered in comments, and STCDA won their law suit against the Delta Plan. (Naturally, that win is being contested, but at this point they are supposed to go back and rewrite significant portions of that Plan before proceeding.) We have other law suits underway or planned to stop the tunnels!

That just shows that each person is important in this fight against the Tunnels. If Bobby hadn’t shown up that morning, we would have had dams in our waterways and worse, we wouldn’t have found our amazing lawyer, Michael Brodsky, who is successfully leading the fight to stop the tunnels.

If you also want to make a difference, please donate. Proceeds go to expert witnesses to testify about the negative effect of the tunnel project!!!

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Donate to STOP THE TUNNELS here →


California Giant Tunnels
Mercury News Photo (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

The Trump administration said Wednesday that it will not support a massive water project proposed by California, the latest and most serious blow for Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to re-engineer the state’s water system by building two giant water tunnels.

“The Trump Administration did not fund the project and chose to not move forward with it,” Russell Newell, deputy communications director for the U.S. Interior Department, said in an email.

Asked if that meant the Trump administration did not support California’s tunnels project, Newell said yes.

Trump opposes massive California water project.

UPDATE: The next day the Trump administration came out in support of the Delta Tunnels.

Posted by: Jan | October 22, 2017

Comments on the Delta Tunnels

DWR’s preliminary engineering analysis showed the WaterFix tunnel lining design could leak in a maximum earthquake in the Delta.

via WaterFix tunnel lining could leak in a large earthquake in the Delta — California Water Research

Posted by: Jan | October 18, 2017

Clarifying the Confusing Reports

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 3.25.03 PM McNerneyAnnouncingWESTact
Jerry McNerney announcing his WEST Act

As we reported, there were confusing reports coming out yesterday about the Santa Clara Valley Water District vote concerning the tunnel project.

Last month, Westlands Water District in Fresno, which was to have contributed $3 billion, rejected the project in its current form. Metropolitan Water Districted supported the project in their vote on October 10th, but the plan is they would only be funding part of the costs. Even that almost doubles the L.A. ratepayer costs even though those users will be getting no additional water.

The San Jose Mercury News reported yesterday that Santa Clara’s vote is a rejection of California WaterFix as proposed presently. But later in the day we saw that Governor Brown and Secretary Laird issued statements congratulating the Santa Clara Valley Water District for supporting the tunnels.


What really happened? Well, Santa Clara voted 7-0 for some scaled-down version of the project. A single tunnel.

What does that even mean? Will the amount of money that Metropolitan has committed plus a scaled-down amount from some of the smaller districts and Santa Clara pay for one tunnel? Estimates are that Brown currently has less than 50 percent of the estimated WaterFix cost, maybe only 40 percent, which probably wouldn’t cover the cost one a one-tunnel project, since much of the cost is the excavation and construction 150 feet down through unknown types of clay and soil, disrupting water tables and who knows what else.

In addition, these water agencies are voting for a project that has not been planned. There is no small one-tunnel plan. Heck, there was no financial analysis of a two-tunnel plan so we know there’s no financial return-on-investment or benefits analysis for this not-yet-conceived-of plan.

But Jerry Brown seems intent on claiming victory.

One tunnel, two tunnels . . . as long as construction is planned through the heart of the Delta, disrupting quaint legacy communities in the North Delta, destroying boating waterways in the South Delta, and threatening Delta farmer’s ground water (the drinking water for their farmhouses) in-between and other negative impacts (going through bird refuges, leaving huge muck piles behind) then it’s a bad project. As long as the plan is to continue to try to over-export the 5 million acre-feet of water per year, the amount that has brought the fisheries crashing and has already horribly impacted water quality in the Delta, then it’s a bad project. Toxic blue-green algae blooms are a sign of stagnant water. The current water quality standards plan is lacking in addressing how to keep the water in the Delta safe for swimming and recreation and any tunnel project that diverts water around the Delta will only make it worse.

Let’s just face it. The exporters need to start doing what the Legislature directed them to do in 2009: Reduce exports and reduce reliance on the Delta. They need to get back to the approved 3 MAF levels, where they were until the late 1990s. They are allowed to take “excess” water, but late ’90s, they started pumping way more than what was just excess, as was obvious when the fisheries crashed.

It’s time for Brown to admit his big fancy tunnel plan was a bad idea and move on to good ideas for California, ideas like Rep. Jerry McNerney’s WEST Act (the Water and Energy Sustainability through Technology Act): No tunnels, invest in desalination, recycling, conservation, L.A.’s infrastructure upgrades – modern ideas, not worn-out tunnel/canal ideas. The WEST Act includes provisions that support innovative technologies and infrastructure for urban and agricultural areas, as well as efforts to improve efficiency. “It’s time to change the narrative and focus on practical, forward-thinking solutions instead of high-cost, short-term fixes,” said Congressman McNerney. “California has long been a leading innovator in energy and technology and we now have the opportunity to apply that type of ingenuity to modernizing our water systems.”

Save the California Delta Alliance (STCDA) is working to protect the entire Delta: our farmers, fisheries, and North and South Delta communities.

STCDA is the only organization working to protect the South Delta Boating & Recreation and the water quality needed to support these activities. Clean, non-toxic water is vital to South Delta communities’ economic survival.

Please Donate.

Or send a check made out to “STCDA” to:
P.O. Box 1760
Discovery Bay, CA 94505

Posted by: Jan | October 17, 2017

One step backwards for the Tunnels

(Edited 10/18)

Bouldin Island
Mercury News Photo

Yesterday we reported that “By a vote of 7-0, the Santa Clara Water District rejected the tunnel plan.”

CORRECTION: As more feedback comes in about the Santa Clara Water District Vote yesterday, they didn’t exactly vote against the tunnels as reported by the SJ Mercury, the vote was 7-0 for a scaled down version. Hopefully that still means going back to the drawing board and re-planning the project. Anything that slows it until Brown is out of office is a good thing.

But . . . (there’s always a “but” when it comes to the State water issues) if the construction destruction still goes through the heart of the Delta, we still have work to do.

Read more in the San Jose Mercury News

Posted by: Jan | September 5, 2017

Why Save the Delta?

A great article in the SN&R, “Why Save the Delta.” The article deals with the huge impact the tunnel project will have on the North Delta. That article starts on page 15.

SN&R Why Save The Delta

Thanks to Barbara Daly and our friends in the North Delta C.A.R.E.S.

(Note: Here is a smaller-sized file with just the article if you have trouble downloading the full magazine).

Posted by: Jan | September 3, 2017

Fight against the Delta Tunnels Marketing Tactics

One frustrating thing in the fight against the Delta Tunnels is how effective the tunnel proponents are in creating a false statement and having it proliferate as “fact” in every news article we read.


Case in point – Sunday’s Sacramento Bee editorial “After seeing Harvey, Central Valley must get ready for coming storm.” Most of the editorial was great – we need levee maintenance to protect Sacramento and our Delta region.

But then the editor threw in this totally bogus statement: “The report predicted as many as 50 levee breaches in the Delta region. Their failure would affect water deliveries via the State Water Project and Central Valley Project to the Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.”
The tunnel proponents have tried to spread the “earthquake bogey,” as Dr. Pyke calls it, saying that in a “big one” all the levees will fall down and salt water will intrude and ruin the water being pumped south for farms and L.A. This scare tactic is just wrong:

  1. There’s low risk of major earthquake in the Delta. No active fault lines
  2. Tests show the levees aren’t prone to liquefaction during an earthquake
  3. When Jones Tract flooded in 2004, there was no salt water intrusion. That was the last major levee failure in a low flow timeframe.

So what about a superstorm? Yes, lots of levees could fail. There were some failures near Sherman Island during the big flows last year. BUT – during big flows, tons of fresh water is flowing out. Even if all the levees failed then, that wouldn’t affect the water being pumped out.
But somehow, time and again, articles like this throw in these bogus tunnel-proponent made-up “facts” (marketing scare tactics) with the report. Fake news?

What to do about the tunnel proponents never-ending marketing hype? Well one thing I try to do is write a letter to the editor every time I see it. So today I submitted,

“Get the facts straight about potential Delta Levee Failures”


“It’s true that to protect Sacramento and Delta regions, the levees should continue to be improved and maintained, just like they need to do in the Netherlands. However, the article interjected one bogus statement that Delta Tunnel proponents often use as a scare tactic to justify their tunnels. The truth is if there are levee failures during a superstorm, that would NOT affect water deliveries to the farmers and Delta water urban users in Southern California and elsewhere. The water delivery concern raised by the tunnel proponents after Katrina was that if a significant number of levees fail at once, saltwater intrusion could get into the water being pumped to the Corporate farmers south of the Delta and L.A. But that could only true if everything fails at times of low water flow (which is unlikely). During a superstorm, the issue is too much fresh water flowing through the rivers. Therefore, no salt water could intrude. Let’s clearly separate the needs. Ongoing levee maintenance is needed. The Delta Tunnels are not needed at all.”

If you see any Delta Tunnel fake news, write a LTE too!

Posted by: Jan | August 28, 2017

The Tulare Lake

Here’s a good article about what happened to the Tulare Lake, which once was the largest lake (in area) west of the Mississippi, larger than the Great Salt Lake. It is why there is now groundwater in the Central Valley. Drying up of the lake is why the groundwater in the Central Valley doesn’t recharge.

Some argue that restoring even a portion of the Tulare Lake would solve the Central Valley’s water issue and greatly improve the goal of “regional self-sufficiency.”

California’s Tulare Lake Basin destroyed by dams (March 2017).

Tule Lake area1922.jpg

Tulare Lake Article (from 2009).

Tulare Lake Restoration Project Proposal – San Joaquin Valley Leadership Foundation (2010).

Posted by: Jan | August 28, 2017

Trying to save the Delta once and for all

Michael Brodsky, STCDA Legal Council said: “Our precious Delta and our way of life deserve better than the governor is willing to give. So we must take things into our own hands as a community and devise lasting solutions. I hope the lawsuit will not only stop the tunnels but will be the beginning of a new movement toward saving the Delta once and for all.”

“You can’t put up a sign that says, ‘The Delta is closed for construction for the next 11 years’ and expect our marinas to survive,” said Lauren Korth, STCDA field director, who grew up in the Delta at her family’s business, Korth’s Pirates’ Lair Marina.

Check out the article in the Discovery Bay Press.

Posted by: Jan | August 28, 2017

We’re In!

STCDA is “in.” We’ve submitted our lawsuit to Save the Delta. Stand together. Stop the Tunnels!

See the article ‘Farmers & Environmentalists Join to Battle the Planned Delta Tunnel Project’.


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