Posted by: Jan | April 10, 2017

Santa Clara Water Users Foot the Bill

Who will foot the bill for continued planning for the Delta Tunnels? Not who you think. Santa Clara Valley Water rate payers (and no others) will be subsidizing Jerry Brown’s boondoggle to help Big Ag plant more and more almond orchards. If you don’t already know it, the Delta Tunnels will devastate Delta communities, farms, and fish, primarily to benefit Big Ag.

Driving down I-5 yesterday, I was astounded to see all of the new plantings for orchards on both sides of the highway, as far as the eye can see. During the four years during the drought, the acres of almond orchards continued to increase, as did profits from selling almonds to Asia. More money year after year. (The ones who lost were the poor communities in the Central Valley who saw the ground water they relied on for drinking and showering become polluted or even dried up.)

If you live in Santa Clara Valley, you may be the ones paying for the Delta Tunnels! The tunnel construction project will devastate the waterways in the Delta and end result will be stagnant, polluted water in the Delta so that the fresh water can be diverted to grow more almonds in the desert lands in the Central Valley. This project makes no sense, mainly benefits the big corporate growers, and will devastate communities in the Delta. Communities like Discovery Bay will be destroyed. The ripple effects will destroy the entire Delta estuary and pollute the San Francisco Bay.

That’s right! If you live in or near the following cities, you may be a ratepayer funding Governor Brown’s Delta Tunnel boondoggle: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose (especially in Alviso), Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale.

What will you get out of this deal? Not more water. The promise of the tunnels is to extract the fresher water further north from the Sacramento River, water that has not been polluted by the Central Valley farm runoff like the San Joaquin currently is. So Metropolitan Water District (that serves LA), Santa Clara, and other water districts would get access to the cleaner water and would have less filtering to do to make it available as drinking water. Do you think you, the rate payers, will then get reduced water rates? Actually, it’s more likely your water district will increase rates due to these tunnel costs and pocket any cost reductions they realize in the future.

Please contact your Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Member and let them know of your opposition to funding for more planning of CA WaterFix (the Delta tunnels). Let them know of your disappointment in backroom deals and resolutions that contradict state Board policy to the public.Let them know of your disappointment in backroom deals and resolutions that contradict state Board policy to the public.

According to the latest meeting materials from the San Luis Delta-Mendota Water Authority (SLDMWA), it appears that Santa Clara Valley Water District was the only Delta-Mendota member agency that voted to provide the Department of Water Resources with additional funding for the Planning Phase of California WaterFix. This after Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Members have stated at public meetings that they were not going forward with CA WaterFix planning until a finance plan was made available for the project and after further public discussion.

The Delta-Mendoza Water Agency had $4.26M of existing debt financing that had not been used, yet, all the other member Agencies apparently would not agree to use their share of that money for continued planning costs, which means urban ratepayers are paying for the Delta tunnels planning costs for Big Ag water districts.

Please let your Board member know that you object to Santa Clara Valley Water District ratepayers paying for Delta tunnels planning costs for big agricultural water districts like Westlands Water District — which has a history of literally getting other government agencies to pay their way.

Send your comments to:

  • John L. Varela – District 1 and 2017 Chair: jvarela@valleywater.org
  • Barbara Keegan, Director – District 2: bkeegan@valleywater.org
  • Richard P. Santos, Director – District 3 and 2017 Vice Chair: board@valleywater.org,rsantos@valleywater.org
  • Linda J. LeZotte, Director – District 4: LLeZotte@valleywater.org
  • Nai Hsueh, Director – District 5: nhsueh@valleywater.org
  • Tony Estremera, Director – District 6: testremera@valleywater.org
  • Gary Kremen, Director – District 7: gkremen@valleywater.org

Thanks to our friends at Restore the Delta for alerting us to this issue.

Posted by: Jan | April 6, 2017

Everyone Get On the Bus!

NOTE: DAY AND TIME CHANGE – NOW FRIDAY APRIL 28 AT 9 A.M.

We showed the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) that the communities in the South Delta were not going to sit still for their pushing the Delta Tunnels as a necessary solution to save the Delta. We showed up at the DSC meeting in Brentwood in March!

We can make a HUGE impression if we all show up one more time, this time at their doorstep in Sacramento. This is an important meeting where they will decide whether to move ahead to incorporate the tunnels into the Delta Plan.

Friday, April 28th at 9 A.M.
The tunnel (conveyance) agenda item is first item on Friday

Right now the meeting is scheduled for:
Park Tower Plaza, 980 Ninth Street, 2nd Floor Conference Center
Sacramento, CA 95814

But to be safe, check their agenda page here prior to heading up. They are trying to set up a larger conference room.

To make it easier to go, we plan to provide buses from Discovery Bay to the meeting. The cost would be $25/person. We would meet at 6:30 am in the Marina/Boardwalk Grill parking lot and return in the afternoon.

I would appreciate knowing if:

  1. YES – You can count on me! I will get on the bus!

  2. BusSacramento

  3. MAYBE – Not sure yet. But if I go I’ll ride the bus.

  4. MAYBE – Not sure yet. But if I go I’ll drive myself.

  5. I will go, but I will drive myself

Show up in your tee shirts if you bought one for the Brentwood event.
  
Pictures from the Brentwood Meeting, courtesy of Richard Wisdom, The Press

We have a few tee shirts left (8 women’s Med; 6 men’s Large – men’s run large) if you want to purchase on for $10. (If we get a lot of requests, we will look into ordering more). Click the link below to email your Tee Shirt Request

Posted by: Jan | April 2, 2017

Send Comments by April 17th

IMPORTANT: April 17 DEADLINE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS

The Delta Stewardship Council is working to add an amendment to include the Delta Tunnels in the Delta Plan. That is not right!

Suggested comment ideas from our Legal Council – items that are most impactful, (please rewrite in your own words) are here:
Comments Ideas/Suggestions.

EMAIL ADDRESS: Click here to send your email to deltaplanNOP@deltacouncil.ca.gov with a BCC to bdcp.commments.copy@nodeltagates.com.

Amending the Delta Plan to rubber-stamp the Twin Tunnels is just wrong, which is what we all went to Brentwood to tell them and now need to follow up with formal comments.

We also need to let them know that their process isn’t working. They could see how many people were concerned from the Brentwood meeting. But that format isn’t one where all concerns can be communicated and absorbed by the Council. We need working group sessions, and need them locally and in the evenings as well.

Most importantly, there is no valid reason for the Council to be amending the Delta Plan to accept the one alternative of the Twin Tunnels as the ONLY action. See the attachment for reasons and issues with the way the Council is moving ahead.

Please submit comments now. Thank you!

Comments Ideas/Suggestions.

Posted by: Jan | March 26, 2017

Delta Locals “Flood” DSC Meeting


Mike McCleery giving feedback to the Delta Stewardship Council

South Delta locals poured into the Delta Stewardship Council meeting on Thursday, March 23 in Brentwood. There was an amazing turnout! Particularly considering that this was the third of the DSC’s “throughout California” distributed meetings. The Tracy DSC Meeting had only 3 people in attendance; the Southern California DSC Meeting was only attended by water agency personnel.

But when the DSC dared venture into the South Delta, we showed them that the people here are 100 percent opposed to the Delta Tunnel boondoggle. There were several hundred people in attendance, many were from the Save the California Delta Alliance group and at least 70 were wearing STCDA’s new “Save the Delta / No Tunnels / No Gates” tee shirts. The DSC recognized that the crowd was there for Agenda Item 11 (obviously) and the Council moved that to be the first topic discussed.

Many people got up and made comments against the tunnels. Barbara from Restore the Delta noted problems with how the council has been holding its meetings and that the DSC meetings need better communication and format. People asked for evening meetings, when more people could be involved, and asked for more involvement in the process where their input would be considered.

Many who commented brought up boating & recreation, impacts to the water quality, the need to protect the people who live in the Delta, local farming, fish, etc. Many talked the need to improve delta flows, reduce reliance on the Delta, and reduce exports. The recent National Marine Fisheries Service report that the Delta Tunnels will destroy the fish in the Delta was brought up and quoted from. People asked why the DSC couldn’t weigh the value of almonds over the value of the Delta. Several people, questioned that the DSC is a real “Stewardship” Council and reprimanded them on the need to take their role seriously, be stewards, and protect the Delta. Bob Wright, Friends of the River legal council, made good points questioning why this amendment was being proposed at all, and stated that the tunnels should not be in the Delta Plan nor the NOP. A representative from the Sierra Club spoke and stated that the Sierra Club are with us in opposition to the tunnels. Lauren Korth, Delta Field Representative from Jim Frazier’s office read Jim’s comments which were very strong and on-target.

The DSC’s opening statement was that it is obvious the current method of exporting water is “broken,” hence a conveyance system is needed to “fix” it. Therein lies the biggest issue. If they started with the Delta Flow requirements like the legislature had directed them to do, and therefore reduced exports, then a conveyance project may not even be needed.

A few of the DSC members seemed to be swayed or impressed by what they heard. However, Randi Fiorini, the chairman, seemed to not be really listening to comments, not interested, and seemed ready to adopt the amendment and move it along. (He does come from the CV farmer side.) Although not everyone was paying attention, a couple of the council did seem to be hearing what we said. Patrick Johnston wanted to address the issue with meetings not being as effective in getting input plus the need to hold some meetings in the evening. Ken Weinberg with experience putting the Carlsbad Desalination Plant on-line appreciated the push for new desalination plants as a way to actually add water to the system. And Skip Thompson, Solano County Supervisor and representative on the Council from the Delta Protection Commission, questioned the process for amending the plan at this time and felt that the DSC seems to be trying to get around the rules. He also brought up Jeffery Michael’s Tunnel Plan Cost/Benefit analysis that showed that for every 29 cents of benefit, the cost was $1.00. Definitely not reasonable. He pushed back on the council and got a standing ovation.

Standing Ovation for Skip Thompson’s supportive remark

But then Supervisor Thompson said the DSC in their role has to make the “Grand Compromise.” I found that to be an interesting term when fish can’t really “compromise.”

Other members of the DSC weren’t as supportive of our concerns and appeared to want to just move ahead and add the tunnels to the Delta Plan.

Thanks to everyone who attended. We think some of the council members may be hearing us.

Please send any additional comments that may have come to mind by April 17th. See our Event Tracker page about the April 17th deadline to know the email address where to send your comments and see suggested comments.

ALSO – the next event is when the DSC decides whether or not to move ahead with the amendment to add the Delta Tunnels to the Delta Plan. A few council members are swaying. Help us push them over to our side by getting on the bus to Sacramento.

THANK YOU to the 450-500 people who flooded the DB Elementary Gym to attend the STCDA Town Hall Monday night!

If you weren’t able to attend, Gene Beley is posting videos of the event. Here is Michael Brodsky’s presentation.
Gene will be posting others as he gets them edited.

And a nice write-up by Galen Kusic covering the event

We’re asking everyone to go to the upcoming Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) meeting in Brentwood. The DSC is pushing the tunnels. Show up to let them know how many of us in the South Delta oppose their tunnel plan and their threat to install salinity gates throughout the Delta.

Thursday March 23 at the Brentwood Community Center, 708 3rd Street, Brentwood, CA at 9:30 AM or meet at 9 AM in the Marina parking lot (the Boardwalk Grill parking) to carpool. The meeting starts at 9 AM but won’t get going until about 9:30 AM. We’ll be passing out talking points in a few days for those willing to stand up and make their voices heard.

Posted by: Jan | March 14, 2017

Town Hall Meeting Presentations

Thanks to all of you who turned out to our STCDA Town Hall Meeting on the Delta Tunnels last night. About 500 people came out – how amazing. When Town Halls are usually held, it’s considered “big” to have 100 or more, yet Discovery Bay continues to display the passion that exists in this region against the Delta Tunnels.

Here are the presentations from last night. Let me know if you want them in the original formats instead of PDF.

Jan’s overview/introduction Presentation
Michael Brodsky’s Presentation
Diane Burgis’ Presentation

Save the California Delta Alliance needs your help! Come to our Town Hall Meeting on the Delta Tunnels Monday, March 13, 6:30 PM in the Discovery Bay Elementary School Gymnasium. Hear about the progress STCDA made last year fighting the tunnels, and what’s left to do this year as the State tries to make it’s big push to get the tunnels started in 2018.

Help us stop Gov. Brown from starting his tunnel project! The eleven year construction project will wreck boating and recreation in the South Delta, removing favorite ski sloughs, blocking major boating waterways, filling our waterways with barges, docks, 5 mph zones, truck traffic on Highway 4 and the levees, 24×7 noise and lights. When done, our bays and the South Delta will become stagnant, salty, and polluted. We need your help to continue our battle. Please come to the meeting to find out how you can help stop the tunnels.

You’ll also have the opportunity to hear from your elected officials about what they are doing to try to stop the tunnels. Meet Diane Burgis, our new Contra Costa County Supervisor and hear from Jim Frazier, Assemblyman, and Senator Steve Glazer. This is the first time Sen. Glazer has come to one of our Town Hall Meetings. We’ve told him that our community is very actively opposed to the tunnels and we always have a big crowd show up. Please, let’s fill the gymnasium like we have for prior Town Hall Meetings and show them we are not giving up the fight.

Monday, March 13, 6:30 PM in the Discovery Bay Elementary School Gymnasium.

Posted by: Jan | January 28, 2017

Last Day for Comments Jan. 30th

The California WaterFix (Delta Tunnel) EIR/EIS review period ends soon. If you haven’t sent in comments please do. And if you have sent in comments, but think of more to say, you can send them in multiple times. The more they hear from us the better off we will be.

Send in comments to CalWaterFix@water.ca.gov by Monday, January 30th.

And help us continue to support you! Help Us Save the Delta – Please Donate!

If you live in Discovery Bay, which will be significantly impacted through closure of our nearby waterski/wakeboard sloughs and ruining our nearby Mildred Island Anchorage, and if you are worried that the state keeps publishing atrocious plans that would block our waterways and potentially isolate us from the rest of the Delta, describe what the Delta means to you. Give your personal insight.

The tunnels are supposed to “protect and enhance unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place.” That’s in the Delta Plan. The EIR claims that they are doing that. If you can send in comments with your own judgment that they don’t, they are violating Water Code § 85045.

If you sent in prior comments and their response to you was like many of mine it said, “Please see Master Response 24 for more information regarding the Delta as a Place.” If you, like me, couldn’t figure out what Master Response 24 was or where it was, I emailed the DWR and they sent the link:

http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/Libraries/Dynamic_Document_Library/Final_EIR-EIS_Vol_II_Part_1.sflb.ashx

But I read “Master Response 24” and it is wrong. They are saying they don’t need to protect recreation that exists for our community because they are enhancing recreation up at Brannon State Park on the Sacramento River. They are wrong. They are also saying that the Delta will evolve and they don’t need to preserve it like a Mausoleum. We are not asking them to preserve it, we know over time it evolves. Levee walls around Mildred Island get smaller, the river changes. But that doesn’t mean the State has the right to destroy our community, our economy, our culture, and our way of life!

If you live in the Delta and know what will and will not destroy our way of life, then DWR’s response, “Master Response 24” to comments that they are complying with the Delta Reform Act requirements to protect Delta as Place is flat wrong.

The more comment letters that we can get that list specifics from the EIR or at least makes the above argument, the better off we will be.

And help us continue to support you! Help Us Save the Delta – Please Donate!

Posted by: Jan | January 28, 2017

The Audacity!

The State’s “Alternative” to wall off Middle River could significantly block navigation!

One of the alternatives in the Final EIR/EIS is that instead of tunnels, they would wall-off Middle River and make it their own private pipeline through the South Delta. This would block ALL boats from Discovery Bay and the rest of the Delta south of the railroad tracks from going East to Mildred Island, Bullfrog, Lost Isle, or Tiki Lagoon).

Even worse, today if the Orwood RR Bridge isn’t operable or needs maintenance, the railroad operates the alternate RR Bridge on Middle River, 24×7, year-round. But with these dams, boats too tall to fit under the railroad trestle would be blocked from getting to the alternate bridge; hence would be blocked from going to/from Discovery Bay to the rest of the Delta. That is scary, atrocious, and according to the “Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899,” illegal. Although it is not the current preferred alternative in the EIR, it is still atrocious that this idea of walling of Middle River keeps coming up in various State plans and projects.

Help us fight Governor Brown’s continual attacks against the Delta and our waterways! Help Us Save the Delta – Please Donate!


Figure 1. “Operable barriers” are actually dams that will block all boats!

In your comments to the Final EIR/EIS tell them “No Delta Gates! No Barriers!” Tell them to “Remove Alternative 9 from the California WaterFix Final EIR/EIS and never consider it again. It would violate the Rivers and Harbors act, violate the law, and violate the Delta Plan.” We still have through January 30th to comment. You can email comments as many times as you want to CalWaterFix@water.ca.gov.

To make sure the boaters aren’t ever totally blocked, the railroad was required by law to build two alternate bridges.

Boaters have always had the government’s guarantee of navigation. When building the railroad line, the railroad was required to install two identical drawbridges. The main railroad bridge is the Orwood RR Bridge on Old River. That bridge is operated 24×7 year-round. The bridge operators are always very accommodating for boaters. They apologize if they make us wait around until an Amtrak or freight train passes. We certainly don’t want a train to come roaring in when the bridge is open! It is rare to have to wait around for more than five to ten minutes, and even then the bridge operator apologizes and tries to squeeze some boats through between trains if a second train is coming along in a short while. They are very good at their job.

Figure 2. The railroad tracks and the sloughs on each side: “Railroad Sloughs”

The RR bridge needs to be able to accommodate any boat that has a command bridge and definitely sailboats. Our friends were bringing their sailboat up from Alameda to have it in Discovery Bay during the summer and anchor out with us at Mildred Island.

Figure 3. Sailboat at Mildred Island

Our friend asked the bridge operator if the bridge could accommodate a seventy-foot mast, since normally the bridge is at a slant, high enough for power boaters but not for a sailboat. The operator proudly replied, “Oh yes, captain! I can take this bridge ‘vertical’!”

Figure 4. The Orwood RR Bridge vertical after a sailboat had passed

One day there were maintenance people with orange vests crawling all over the partially-raised bridge. We were following our friends sailboat, we with our command bridge boat. Our friend radioed the bridge operator and asked him if he could open the bridge all the way for their seventy-foot mast. The operator apologized and said, “Sorry captain. We’re having maintenance done. Try to squeeze through.”

Our friend sputtered a little, not sure what to say and sure his mast wouldn’t fit under when the operator got back on the radio and laughed, “Just joshing with ya, Captain. Going’ vertical!” and opened the bridge up all the way. Whew!

But what happens if the bridge does have a mechanical failure? Well, that’s why there are sloughs on both sides of the railroad tracks (which we refer to as the Railroad Sloughs) and an identical alternate bridge on Middle River. If the Orwood RR Bridge on Old River has a failure, the operator will walk down the track and start operating the Middle River Bridge 24×7.

We are never trapped. We can always access the entire Delta. That is the law.

Our State and the water contractors seem to think they are above the law!

Although “Alternative 9 – Through Delta/Separate Corridors” is not the current “preferred” alternative, it was the through-Delta “Peripheral Canal” plan, the preferred alternative in the original BDCP Plans. It is atrocious that the state considered it originally, and that we still see it in the California WaterFix Final EIR/EIS. It needs to be removed from all future plans! The State and the Water Contractors who are writing the California WaterFix plan (i.e., the Delta Tunnels Plan) seem to think it is all right cut South Delta boaters off from the rest of the Delta! The audacity!

“Operable Barriers” are unsafe for any boat to pass through – they are the same as a dam

From researching the “Two-Gates Fish Protection Project” in 2009, where the State wanted to put gates on Old River and Connection Slough, we know these “Operable Barriers” are so unsafe boats should never get near them. They were, according to the Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC), a violation of the Rivers and Harbors Act which requires protection for navigation.

For the Two-Gates project, the RBOC stated that the only way to ensure safe passage of boats through such blockages would be the installation of actual boat locks to accommodate boats that navigate the waterway. But on the narrow sloughs like the South Railroad Slough, a lock would also be too dangerous for boats waiting for passage. Plus a barrier on Twin Sloughs would forever ruin that favorite waterski slough.

The very informative and useful comments made by the RBOC against the Two-Gates project describes in detail all of the problems with these “Operable Barriers,” how unsafe they are for boaters, and why they are actually “dams” that totally block any boat passage, large or small.

Similar gates, besides Two-Gates, have been proposed to control salinity in the past. We need to fight back at any project that shows these horrible structures in our waterways.

Help us fight Governor Brown’s continual attacks against the Delta and our waterways! Help Us Save the Delta – Please Donate!

Posted by: Jan | January 24, 2017

Saving the Mildred Island Anchorage

For years, starting when our kids were 5 and 7, our family would drive from Sunnyvale to the Delta nearly every Friday night during the summer. We’d launch our ski boat at Russo’s Marina on Bethel Island and head off somewhere, find a quiet spot to anchor, put up the canvas and roll out the sleeping bags, and tie up for the night. We’d spend Saturday and Sunday on the waterways, teaching the kids to ski or pulling them behind on the “enterprise” (blow-up) or just jumping of the back swimming. Or we’d find a small beach for the kids to make mud pies and have fun. We’d barbecue at night with the sun setting behind us. The Delta has amazing sunsets.


Figure 1. Boat Camping with the kids at Mildred Island in the Delta

When we upgraded to a bigger boat to camp on, we took both boats to Mildred Island on the weekends to anchor out at night and then use the ski boat during the day on the slough just west of Mildred Island waterways to ski. We fell in love with the Delta, so moved to Discovery Bay when we retired.

Mildred Island is about half way between Bethel Island and Discovery Bay, in the center of the South Delta. Mildred Island flooded in the early ’80s and was never reclaimed, making it the perfect anchorage spot. Mildred is where most boats anchor in the South Delta.


Figure 2. Mildred and other Anchorages near Bethel Island and Discovery Bay

Having a nice anchorage near by is one of the draws for buying a home in Discovery Bay. Being close to fishing, ski/waterski sloughs, and an anchorage is why Bethel Island has over 30 marinas all the way around the island. Most boats come from the near surrounding areas (Bethel Island, Byron, Oakley, and Discovery Bay) but others come from San Francisco, Benicia, Stockton, etc.

Mildred is a well-known anchorage. On Labor Day, the Sea Ray Club brings about 60 boats and form a complete, perfect circle: quite an engineering feat. The Grand Banks Club, Bayliner Club, Discovery Bay Yacht Club as well as other groups and clubs use the Mildred Island anchorage regularly. In addition, numerous small groups and single boats anchor at Mildred Island for a weekend, a week, or more. No other South Delta location can provide an anchorage for so many boats.


Figure 3. Sea Ray Club “Full Circle” at Mildred Every Year (From Sea Ray Club Website)

The only other anchor area for more than a handful of boats in the South Delta is what the locals call Horseshoe Bend, west of the Connection Slough Bridge (see Figure 2 above). Horseshoe Bend can support perhaps up to 20 boats.

Besides these two anchorages, there are only a few sloughs in the South Delta where one or several boats can slip in behind some tules and anchor for the night or weekend, but no other anchorage.

What plans does the State have to protect the Mildred Island Anchorage?


ANSWER: None. Just the opposite. The State will make Mildred unusable as an anchorage and hard to get to for eleven (yes 11) years.


Figure 3. Construction at Mildred Island and Connection Slough

As you can see in Figure 3, the State plans to build a huge dock and have barges, construction, 24×7 pounding and bright lights from June 1 to October 31 each year (i.e., all summer months) for eleven years right next to the Mildred Island Anchorage. It certainly won’t be a peaceful anchorage any longer. It looks like they may even wipe out the levee where the doggie beach is. They will leave behind a giant, smelly muck pile, just west of a peaceful pristine anchorage. Unbelievable!

They will also put a dock and barges in Connection Slough. There they say they will try to allow traffic (5 MPH), but I do not trust them to do a reasonable job of notifying the public ahead of time of closures and delays.

Their plans show other brown areas, construction of some sort, potentially blocking the way to Mildred Island from the South. Again, I do not trust them to do a reasonable job of notifying the public ahead of time of closures and delays and not blocking boats from getting to or returning from Mildred Island.

Implications for Recreation (Skiing/WakeBoarding)

Besides making it difficult to get to Mildred from Connection Slough, the State will also be wiping out recreational boating (skiing and wakeboarding) along the western side of Mildred Island. That is the second favorite ski site after Twin Sloughs. While there are also nice sloughs on the south side and east side of Mildred, during busy weekends those are the sloughs the big formula boats and big cruisers take. Especially during a big can poker run, skiing or wakeboarding those sloughs is not advised

What can we do?


Send in your comments before January 30th that our town doesn’t want the State to wipe out the main anchorage for the South Delta. Yet this is the State’s plan in its Final EIR/EIS on the California WaterFix.

Even after people identified Mildred Island as the important primary anchorage for the entire South Delta in comments in 2013 and 2016, and in person at BDCP meetings, the Final EIR still failed to include Mildred Island as one of the key Recreation Sites in the South Delta or to refer to it at all.

Table 15-15 that lists important Recreational Sites throughout the Delta does not include Mildred Island nor Horseshoe Bend. Both should have been included and discussed in the analysis, primarily a discussion about what is the value of keeping boats in the Bethel Island marinas or the value of boating from Discovery Bay.

The EIR also fails to adequately identify the actual boating need. There are probably 4,000 boat berths in Discovery Bay counting private docks and the Marina. Yet the EIR only analyzes marinas and doesn’t count boats per marina. The analysis of where boats are and where they go is missing from the EIR.

The Final EIR Chapter 15 – Recreation, fails to adequately analyze activity in the Delta. As a result it does not consider the economic impacts or safety implications for the South Delta communities and boaters: Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Bullfrog Marina and other marinas where these boaters who come to Mildred Island go for supplies, fuel, or other shopping. (Anchored boats typically have another small boat, ski boat, or tender where they can get fuel and supplies during their anchor-out).

The analysis in the EIR is inadequate, incomplete, and flawed.

STCDA is still working to fight for the rights of the Delta communities as well as the fish. An alternative Rep. Garamendi and others have proposed is a portfolio of solutions, with one component being a single, smaller 3,000 CFS pipe. Even if the proposal for a smaller, less damaging pipe is accepted, there will still be a tunnel along the same alignment, causing perhaps shorter-term impact, but still ruining our waterways and the Mildred Island Anchorage.

There are alternatives regardless of what size pipe they decide to run:

  1. Pick their Eastern Alignment Alternative. Instead of going through the Delta, the only way to save it is to go around the Delta.
  2. A the least:
    • Move the barge location away from the Mildred Island Anchorage. Metropolitan Water District owns the entire Bacon Island. If moved south where the road/overpass is and construction activity were kept isolated to the western channel, boat traffic could still pass on the east, under the Bacon Island Bridge.
    • Maximize accessibility to/from Mildred Island from Bethel Island and approaching from the south on Middle River.
    • Locate the muck pile as far south on Bacon Island as possible.
  3. If not the entire Eastern Alignment, at least reroute as far east as possible around Mildred Island and the waterways south of it. That would leave boating open in the South Delta as well as not impacting fish and fowl.

Boating communities deserve at least some commitment from the State to try to maintain navigable, usable, scenic waterways and minimize impact from their tunnel construction destruction.

Send in your Comments


Email your comments/objections to this plan to: CalWaterFix@water.ca.gov. Note: This link also adds a BCC to our mailbox for reference. In 2013 it took them THREE YEARS to post people’s comments!

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