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 it’s 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!

Posted by: Jan | January 24, 2017

Do you ski/wakeboard the Twin Sloughs?

Are you a Discovery Bay boater? Do you or your kids like to take the ski boat or wakeboard boat out for a quick run: before work, after school, or on weekends? If so, you may want to read what the state is planning to do as early as 2018!

Where do you go skiing or wakeboarding? Say you are making a quick run. You head out past the lighthouse a ways (especially on weekends, far enough so the formula boats and big boats aren’t rocking your start) and put a skier/wakeboarder in the water. We head east on Indian Slough to Old River, turn right and ski from there. South on Old River is the safer ski-water: less big boats and calmer water. All the go-fast formula boats and big cruisers turn left on Old River to go through the Orwood RR Bridge and beyond.

You can ski south on Old River to where you have to make a U-turn because of the Hwy 4 bridge. But even better, as we go by Twin Sloughs, we glance and if there aren’t a lot of boats, we head east up the right side of Twin Sloughs. That’s our favorite nearby ski slough.


Figure 1. Satellite view of the Twin Sloughs

Officially, what we locals call “Twin Sloughs,” are named “North Victoria Canal” on the right (south) and “Woodward Canal” on the left (north), named after the islands they run next to. They used to be two separate canals, but over time the levee in the middle eroded and now there are even places where where a boat can get through. What is left of the old levee divides the two sloughs into separate lanes. Everyone knows to stay on the right, U-turn at the end, and come back on the other side. That’s one of the great things about the Twin Sloughs. They are safer because, like a divided highway, traffic is managed. The other reason the Twin Sloughs is so popular is because they are each just the right size for a skier to slalom or wakeboarder to make his/her curves. And the tules on each side and down the middle dampen boat wakes so that the water quickly settles down and each skier gets their turn on glassy water.

We often go up and down Twin Sloughs until our gang gets tired. If Twin Sloughs is too crowded, there’s the option to ski Middle River. North on Middle River is just a short run past Ski Beach and you need to turn around before the 5 MPH zone at the ferry crossing. South on Middle River towards Union Point Bar & Grill is descent until you need to turn around because of the 5 MPH zone and Hwy 4 bridge.

That’s our “typical” ski run from our home with our kids, grandkids, or when friends go out in the morning or during the day. Here are the ski/wakeboard runs accessible nearest Discovery Bay and what makes our location so convenient:

Figure 2. Discovery Bay Recreation Sloughs

And here is what the State plans to do to them:


Figure 3. DWR Official map of Construction areas: Barges, docks, ruin – for 11 years!

Twin Sloughs will be completely blocked during the summer for eleven (yes 11) years because there will be two docks built there: one on Woodward Island on the north side of the twin sloughs and one on Victoria Island to the south. The impact area shows that even access to Old River going south will be closed some of the time with barges and construction blockages. I believe the brown outline identifies areas that will be 5 MPH zones at best.

That means no access to Ski Beach either. And you won’t be able to jet ski the short route over to Union Point Bar & Grill.

Small recreation boats leaving DB to go skiing or wakeboarding will have only a small run near DB or will need to check out the traffic going north on Old River and east on Railroad slough to get to the nicer calm areas west of Mildred Island.

My crowd (I guess we’re spoiled) choose to not ski up Old River and Railroad slough and instead take a boat ride until we get past the Bacon Island overpass to the sloughs west of Mildred that is our other nice, calm, glassy-water ski/wakeboard area. Oh, but wait until you see what the plans are for Middle River and Mildred Island! (You’ll need to wait for the next blog.)

The State surely wouldn’t ignore the value of boating and recreation to the community of Discovery Bay, would they? What is their mitigation for the people of Discovery Bay?

Their “mitigation plan,” because they are wiping out Twin Sloughs, is that there are other similar sloughs in the Delta. Specifically, they say we can go ski at Brannan Island. What? Just do a quick ski run to the north side of the San Joaquin and to the Sacramento River? Getting there isn’t something we can do for a ski boat run. Obviously, people working on projects for the Delta have no clue about the Delta.

What can we do?


Send in your comments before January 30th that our town doesn’t want the State to wipe out our recreation sloughs. Yet this is the State’s plan in it’s Final EIR/EIS on the California WaterFix.

If your teenage son/daughter likes to wakeboard, this would be a great lesson in civic duty to send an email to let the State government know just what they think about the State’s plan for Discovery Bay waterways.

The Final EIR that we’re commenting about during this timeframe doesn’t even list boating and recreation as important for Discovery Bay’s economy or community! The analysis in the EIR is inadequate, incomplete, and flawed. Discovery Bay isn’t even mentioned, even though if you look through previously submitted comments in 2013 and 2016, more than once Twin Sloughs is mentioned as a recreation area to maintain, and that boating and recreation is key to Discovery Bay’s economy and community. The EIR Chapter 15 – Recreation doesn’t even list Discovery Bay as a boating site! The only reference to Discovery Bay is as one of the communities in Contra Costa County. There is nothing about the 2,300 waterfront homes in Discovery Bay that each have boat slips (most have even more than one). There is nothing that identifies that recreational boaters need continuous sloughs where they can go up to 30 MPH, not barges all over to go 5 MPH around. Tell them you object!

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 this proposal goes through, it will still be a tunnel along the same alignment, causing perhaps shorter-term impact, but still ruining our waterways and leaving Twin Sloughs forever ruined.

There are simple alternatives that would save recreation near Discovery Bay regardless of what size pipe they decide to run:

  1. THE BEST – Use the Eastern Alignment Alternative. This would be best for boaters, fish, waterfowl, and the Delta. I don’t know who that route effects, but no towns or communities. There is nothing in the EIR “Alternatives Considered” documentation that I can find that considers the impact on people related to their considered alternatives.
  2. AT A MINIMUM, move the barge locations around the corner on each island. That can’t be so hard and saves a lot of boaters a lot of grief. Saving nearby recreation will help our community remain a viable boating community.


Figure 4. Alternative Barge Locations

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!

Posted by: Jan | January 16, 2017

Your Comments Needed!

We are in the midst of another very short comment response period on the Delta Tunnels due January 27th. The Final California WaterFix EIR (what used to be the “BDCP” and is now just the Delta Tunnel part) was released end of December with just a 30-day comment period. I’d appreciate if people would email requests to extend the comment period to at least 90 days. Also posted in December was responses to all of our comments we sent in during the 2013 comment review period AND the 2015 comment review period. They waited 3 years to post our 2013 comments and now give us 30 days to review! (Actually, less because it’s taken some time to even find out they were there). And to review the huge final EIR.

Please send in an email asking to extend the comment period to at least 90 days here: CalWaterFix@water.ca.gov.

Note: This will also send a BCC copy to us for reference, since in 2013 it took them THREE YEARS to post any comments! We’d appreciate that.

If you have time, also send in your comments on the new BDCP EIR Final which is posted here (in case we can’t get the review period extended):
FINAL EIR/EIS Click Here

To see what their response was to the comments you mailed in over the past years, go here:
RESPONSES TO YOUR PRIOR 2013/2015 COMMENTS Click Here

HOW TO FIND YOUR COMMENT AND THEIR RESPONSE:
There is an “Index” file for the 2013 comments and down further in the page an Index file for the 2015 comments. Look at each index file, find your name, and there will be a “Letter #” next to your name. Below the index file is a list of comments broken up by letter #s. Click the link where your letter # falls and find your comment in that list with the response next to it. See instructions/screen shot at the bottom (attachment). They don’t make it easy on us!

Here are a few good reasons to extend the comment period and hold a public hearing:

1) They failed to recirculate the Draft EIR/S after it received a failing grade from USEPA. Under the law they are required to fix the problems and recirculate a draft EIR for further public comment when that happens. So they are using this final 30 day comment period to substitute for that required recirculation which should have been a long time ago and allowed for a much longer comment period. Because of this they should allow at least 90 days and hold a public hearing now.

2) They failed to adequately respond to comments.

3) They failed to consider an adequate range of alternatives because they did not consider any alternative with a storage element or any other portfolio element.

4) They failed to comply with the Delta Reform Act because the preferred alternative does not reduce reliance on the Delta.

These are all major substantive failures and 30 days is not enough time to adequately address these issues in comments so we need at least 90 days to prepare comments so the comment period should be extended.

Item #2 above would be even better if you add one of your comments and their response that didn’t answer you adequately.

THANK YOU!

Posted by: Jan | December 22, 2016

Final Delta Tunnel EIR/EIS Released

The “Final EIR/EIS” for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California WaterFix (aka “Delta Tunnels) was released and is available online. The EIR/EIS was prepared jointly by Lead Agencies: the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation).

Announcing that they are forging ahead, Dan Morain provided an opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee today, “Jerry Brown plunges ahead on twin tunnels”.

The article asks: “For the Californians who won’t take the time to read 90,000 pages, the question will come down to this: Do they trust Brown’s judgment?”
For those of us who HAVE read many of the 90,000 pages, the answer is no. Brown is dead wrong. His scientists have been given the job of finding ways to maximize water sent South as #1 priority. That’s starting at the wrong place. Delta scientists all object to the Delta Tunnels.

The current pumps started exporting more than the guidelines in the late 1990’s and increased each year thereafter.

The article says “Brown and his successor would need to provide ironclad assurances that they would operate system in ways that protect the environment.” There’s the rub. The state has not run the current pumps in ways that protect the environment; obviously they will do the same at the new location.

Posted by: Jan | December 16, 2016

2016 – The Year in Review for STCDA

In 2016, Save the California Delta Alliance (STCDA) made progress in the battle to save the Delta. But the battle is far from over. Please make a year-end gift to help STCDA work to win this fight in 2017.

Major Accomplishments in 2016:

  • In June, STCDA won our law suit against the Delta Plan! See “We Won!” https://nodeltagates.com/2016/05/29/we-won/ This means the Delta Plan will need to incorporate minimum water flow requirements and alternatives to the tunnels.
  • More recently STCDA had our day at the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) hearings being held to give the state a permit to start pumping water from the Sacramento River. https://nodeltagates.com/2016/12/16/stcdas-day-at-the-swrcb/. Representing Discovery Bay and the South Delta required STCDA to hire two expert witnesses as well as solicit community volunteers to testify (Jan McCleery, Captain Frank Morgan, and Mike Guzzardo volunteered). But most importantly, required our STCDA lawyer’s continued willingness to fight for our cause pro-bono. But after seven years pro-bono, it’s time we started to covering some of his legal fees.

In 2017, the SWRCB hearings will continue. The Part II hearings consider the impacts of the Delta Tunnels on Delta Recreation and Fishing. STCDA definitely plans to be involved in those hearings to protect Discovery Bay and South Delta recreational interests. However, in order to continue this fight, we need to do some major fundraising efforts.

The Delta is the largest estuary west of the Mississippi and should be, like Lake Powell in Utah/Arizona, declared a National Recreation Area. Both have over 1,000 miles of winding waterways and scenic beauty, best explored by boat. What a shame it would be to lose this treasure that Americans can now explore and enjoy.

To donate via PayPal

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

Thank You!

Posted by: Jan | December 16, 2016

STCDA’s Day at the SWRCB.


Shown above leaving the hearings: Mike Guzzardo, Jan McCleery, and Captain Frank Morgan.

STCDA is working with other Delta advocates to stop the tunnels by protesting the state’s attempt to get a permit to take water directly from the Sacramento River. The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is currently holding hearings on whether or not to grant this permit. Part I of the hearings are ongoing now; Part II will continue through 2017.

STCDA’s “day in court” was Tuesday Nov 30th. Jan McCleery, Captain Frank Morgan, and Mike Guzzardo represented the Discovery Bay/South Delta viewpoint. In addition, STCDA had hired two expert scientific witnesses to discuss water quality affects from the tunnels on Discovery Bay and the South Delta. Michael Brodsky, STCDA’s legal council, represented us.
First Michael B. provided opening remarks. Next were testimonies of STCDA’s two expert witnesses about how the tunnels would adversely affect Discovery Bay water. Jan’s testimony was about how Discovery Bay relies on fresh water as a community. Frank talked about his tourism business and the algae problem and invasive weeds. Mike G. testified about real estate issues we have already faced due to the toxic algae and how real estate values will go down if the tunnels go in.

It was difficult for us to make some of our key points because Part I does not include recreation, so everything about how we are a boating community and the effect of boating, swimming, or fishing on our economy and lives was censored from our testimonies until Part II. (Yes “censored” – actually redlined out.) After our testimonies, we were cross-examined by DWR lawyers who tried to pick apart our testimonies.

In summary, Brodsky made points about how the Delta Tunnel plan has missing operational procedures and rules that Discovery Bay and the South Delta needs to keep our water fresh. He provided key reasons why the EIR is inadequate and needs to be re-done. Hopefully the SWRCB will have many reasons to not to give the state a permit.

Part I was the economic impact. Part II (next year) includes the impact on Recreation.

Posted by: Jan | December 13, 2016

The Delta Needs Your Help!

2017 will be a busy year in the fight against the Delta Tunnels.
Any donation you can make would be appreciated!



Having trouble? Click here

* STCDA is a 501(c)3 non-profit. All donations are tax deductible.

We need your support to continue to provide expert testimony to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in their ongoing hearings about whether to provide permits to the state for taking water directly from the Sacramento River.

This is a critical timeframe in the battle to save the Delta!

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

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Posted by: Jan | May 31, 2016

Water Wars Update

This is June’s “Water War Update” Bay and Delta Yachtsman Magazine – Delta Rat Scrapbook – it deserves wider readership. Thanks to Bill Wells, “Delta Rat Scrapbook” writer for his continual efforts in support of the Delta:

    “If you live in Northern California you are aware of the current scandal involving Linda Katehi, Chancellor of the University of California at Davis (UCD), hiring consultants to improve her image after students were pepper sprayed by campus police a while back.

    I won’t go into all the sordid details here, but according to the Sacramento Bee newspaper, the university spent taxpayer funds to spy on local reporter, Dan Bacher. Dan is a friend of mine, and one of the best investigative journalists in California. He writes for the Fish Sniffer, the River News Herald & Isleton Journal, and other local publications.

    Now, many of the scientists at UCD are involved with the Brown/Laird plan to divert the Sacramento River around the Delta via twin forty-four foot diameter tunnels, so I did not think it was much of a stretch to think they would want to keep an eye on Dan.

    I asked him what was going on and he showed me a link to a UCD website that names Stuart Resnick and Riley Bechtel as two of Katehi’s advisors. Resnick is a California land and water baron, and a user of a lot of Delta water. Bechtel is the Chairman of the Board of Bechtel Corporation, a company that stands to get a lot of business if construction ever begins on the tunnels. According to my usually reliable sources at UCD, Katehi’s husband teaches a course in ethics at the university.”

My own comments: Maybe it’s just a “coincidence,” but during the whole BDCP/Delta Tunnels/California WaterFix debates, I have continued to be surprised that the UC Davis Scientists continued to weigh in favorably on the Tunnels, contrary to other independent scientists. Just saying . . .

Bay and Delta Yachtsman Magazine – Delta Rat Scrapbook.

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