Archive for the ‘Delta & Environment’ Category

Delta Tunnel opponents respond to Secretary Jewell: Don’t support water export tunnels

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Stop the Delta Tunnels rally 2 Delta Tunnel opponents respond to Secretary Jewell: Don’t support water export tunnels

Opponents of the proposed tunnels under the delta rally during a visit by U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to the Byron pumping plant on Tuesday, March 11. Photo courtesy of Restore the Delta.

SACRAMENTO – Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today called upon U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to not support the tunnels, to let federal scientists do their job without political interference, and to embrace better policies for a sustainable water future. Federal scientists have refused to sign off on the tunnels project, noting that it cannot achieve its goal of restoring the health of the Delta estuary while removing millions of acre-feet of water from the Delta.

Restore the Delta is disappointed that Secretary Jewell did not stop to speak with Delta protesters yesterday,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of RTD. “We call on her to meet at a later date with Delta farmers, Delta government officials, fishery experts, Delta water and reclamation districts, and community groups to learn firsthand about the impacts of the drought and water mismanagement by the State on the Delta economy and ecosystem health, and how the BDCP will lead to the destruction of Delta and coastal fisheries, the SF Bay, Delta family farms and the economy for the 4 million Delta residents. Secretary Jewell should not be misled that the BDCP would provide reliable water supplies nor restore the health of the Delta. This boondoggle benefits mainly a handful of unsustainable mega-growers.”

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Interior Secretary Jewell underscores Administration support for California during historic drought

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Tours Byron pumping plant with Federal and State Officials

SecretaryJewellPumpingPlantByron 1 1024x651 Interior Secretary Jewell underscores Administration support for California during historic drought

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell (in blue) talks with Paul Stearns, Operations Manager and Frances Mizuno, Deputy Executive Director (San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority) at the federal C.W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant in Byron, California on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014. Jewell was touring the facility to examine the water storage and conveyance facility in response to the draught. Special to the Antioch Herald/Photo by Victoria Sheridan

SACRAMENTO, CA – During a visit to California this week, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell examined the on-the-ground conditions of the historic drought and related water issues and reiterated the full support of the Obama Administration to provide relief and support in partnership with California.

The visit comes on the heels of President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2015, which includes $1 billion government-wide for a Climate Resilience Fund to invest in developing more resilient communities, and finding solutions to climate challenges through technology development and applied research. It also proposes $1 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation, including $118.6 million to fund operations, management and improvements within the Central Valley Project in California.

The Administration remains committed to an ‘all in’ approach to the federal response to drought conditions in the West,” said Secretary Jewell. “I commend Governor Brown and state officials for their response thus far, and I will continue to work closely with the state to ensure a balanced and coordinated approach to providing for the water needs of people, agriculture, businesses, power, and the environment.”

California is working closely with its federal partners to deal with the drought and prepare our state for other extreme weather events,” said California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. “This current drought is just a portent of things to come and it underscores the importance of swift action on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.”

Secretary Jewell and California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird today toured water storage and conveyance facilities in Central California and met with agricultural water users who rely on water exported from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Jewell applauded the ongoing collaborative federal-state response efforts.

The Administration is committed to long-term water supply improvements and environmental restoration in California,” said Jewell. “We are working closely with the state to complete the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and take other important actions that will achieve the dual goals of a reliable water supply for California and a healthy Bay Delta ecosystem that supports the state’s economy.”

President Obama’s FY2015 budget includes $66.5 million for WaterSMART programs, nearly a 17 percent increase from 2014, to assist communities in stretching water supplies and improving water management. This funding supports the Department’s goal to increase by 840,000 acre-feet the available water supply for agricultural, municipal, industrial, and environmental uses in the Western United States through water-conservation programs by the end of 2015. To date, WaterSMART projects have successfully produced 730,000 acre-feet toward that goal.

As called for in the President’s Climate Action Plan, the National Drought Resilience Partnership is coordinating federal preparedness for drought and is working closely with the state of California, local government, agriculture, and other partners to improve community preparedness and resilience to drought. The partnership includes the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Energy, and Commerce (NOAA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Environmental Protection Agency.

Following Governor Brown’s declaration of a Drought State of Emergency on January 17, the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture and Commerce began working with the state of California to provide operational flexibility to store and convey water, expedite environmental review and compliance actions, and pursue new or fast-track existing projects that might help stretch California’s water supplies.

I want to commend the state and federal teams on their response to the dry conditions through changes in water operations, promoting water conservation, water recycling and seeking every opportunity to provide the water needed for beneficial uses,” said Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley. “I also want to thank the water users of California, from the largest water contractors to individual businesses to each and every household for their efforts to reduce consumption. With the ongoing drought and long-term water resource challenges associated with a changing climate, increasing population and diminishing supply – protection and conservation of precious water resources is critical.”

Reclamation operates the Central Valley Project to provide water for more than 3 million acres of land in the top agricultural producing counties in the nation’s leading farm state. The California Department of Food and Agriculture reported in its 2012 California Agricultural Highlights publication that farm production in the state totaled more than $43 billion. About a third of that production, or about $12 billion, came from the Central Valley. The Central Valley Project also delivers water supplies for municipalities, industrial uses, and fish, wildlife and environmental purposes.

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U.S. Interior Secretary to be in Byron on Tuesday, Stop the Tunnels rally planned

Monday, March 10th, 2014

All Hands on Deck! Stop the Tunnels!

Secretary Jewell from the Department of the Interior coming to the Delta; our side must be heard.

 Stop the Tunnels1 U.S. Interior Secretary to be in Byron on Tuesday, Stop the Tunnels rally plannedFrom Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta

Secretary Sally Jewell from the U.S. Department of the Interior will be at the Byron Pumping Plant Tuesday, March 11 at noon getting a tour of pumps that have contributed to the problems of the drought. Our side must be heard. Meet us at the entrance of the Byron Pumping Plant at 11:30AM with your sign!

We will Facebook/Tweet exact address Monday evening. You can call 209-479-2053 to meet us Tuesday a.m.

Bring shade and water!

follow on Twitter | friend on Facebook

For more information visit www.restorethedelta.org

Copyright © 2014 Restore the Delta, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is: Restore the Delta  10100 Trinity Parkway, Suite 120  Stockton, CA 95219

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Delta Twin Tunnels fight comes to Antioch

Monday, March 10th, 2014

By John Crowder

On Thursday, March 6th, Antioch was the scene of the latest attack on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), otherwise known as the Twin Tunnels Project. Restore the Delta, which describes itself as “a grassroots campaign of residents and organizations committed to restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta” hosted the “Water Quality Impact Forum.”

The event, held at the Lone Tree Golf & Event Center was well attended, not only by concerned Antioch residents, but by several local politicians, including State Assemblyman Jim Frazier, County Supervisor Mary Piepho, and members of both the Antioch City Council and the Antioch School Board.

The first presentation on the agenda was given by Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta. She provided an overview of the BDCP, focusing on the proposal “to build two giant tunnels to funnel water from the Sacramento River out of the Bay Area.”

She was followed by Melinda Terry, Executive Director, North Delta Water Agency, who spoke on “significant and unavoidable impacts of BDCP.”

The two speakers outlined a host of problems they claimed would occur if the tunnel project were permitted to go forward. Chief among these were a decline in water quality in the Delta.

Water quality will unavoidably decline,” stated Terry.

She cited an increase in salinity in Antioch’s water supply, including a 51% increase in bromide levels and an increase in chloride. Other concerns included a potential decline in the fish population, and significant costs for the project that would be passed on to local residents.

We would be hit with higher water rates,” said Terry. “A rate increase of $200 per year over 40 years by urban water rate payers [is projected.]”

Following Terry’s presentation, Frazier, who represents Antioch, began by noting that, “I absolutely oppose the twin tunnels and the BDCP plan.”

He went on to say that the plan would have a “devastating effect” on Antioch. Frazier then spoke about Assembly Bill 1671, which he introduced last month, and would require “legislative approval prior to the construction of any tunnel or water conveyance system through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.”

I’m committed to working with each and every one of you to preserve the Delta and our way of life,” he concluded.

Piepho was the last speaker on the agenda, and she reinforced the comments made by Frazier.

We need legislative oversight,” she said, “otherwise it would just be the governor and Southern California water interests making decisions.”

She went on to characterize the tunnel proposal as “a failed, flawed plan.”

Piepho stated that the project was of particular concern to Antioch residents because, “in Antioch 100% of the drinking water comes from this river right out here,” and “BDCP significantly degrades water quality in the Delta.” She concluded by stating, “It’s a job killer, it’s a cancer causer, it’s bad news.”

Following the meeting residents lined up to take bumper stickers and yard signs that were on hand for them to use to exhibit their opposition to the twin tunnels project. To learn more about the arguments put forward by those against the tunnels, visit www.restorethedelta.org. Arguments in support of the project can also be found online. State agencies involved with water policy have established www.baydeltaconservationplan.com to make their case for the BDCP.

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Rally against the Delta Tunnels in Sacramento on Friday.

Thursday, December 12th, 2013
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December 11, 2013
354 Rally against the Delta Tunnels in Sacramento on Friday.

We need you, our supporters, to come out in greater numbers than ever before!

** PLEASE NOTE LOCATION CHANGE * *

Monday, December 13, 2013   

Friday the 13th Rally to begin the 120-Day BDCP Response Countdown

Location: North Steps of the Capitol
Starting Time: 12:00 p.m. Be there at 11:30 a.m!

 

We recommend that you dress warm, bring signs, and bring something hot to drink!

This rally is sponsored by Californians for A Fair Water Policy and dozens of other environmental, fishing, farming, government, and water agencies.

And don’t forget to write your letters to Governor Brown expressing your opposition to the peripheral tunnels plan! 

 

Letters should be addressed to:

                        Governor Jerry Brown

                        c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173

                        Sacramento, CA 95814

The salutation should read:  The Honorable Edmund G. Brown

 

Restore the Delta is a grassroots campaign committed to making the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable to benefit all of California. Restore the Delta – a coalition of Delta residents, business leaders, civic organizations, community groups, faith-based communities, union locals, farmers, fishermen, and environmentalists – seeks to strengthen the health of the estuary and the well-being of Delta communities. Restore the Delta works to improve water quality so that fisheries and farming can thrive together again in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Sincerely,

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla

Restore the Delta

Email: barbara@restorethedelta.org

Web: http://www.restorethedelta.org

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Antioch 2013 Coastal Cleanup this Saturday, September 21

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

The 29th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, the state’s largest volunteer event, will take place on Saturday, September 21st, 2013. The event is expected to draw more than 70,000 volunteers who will combat marine debris at over 800 locations throughout the state by removing the trash that has accumulated on California’s beaches and inland shorelines over the past year. Get out there, join the effort in Antioch. Last year, over 100 participants volunteered There are three locations to choose from: Antioch Marina, Prewett Park & Fulton Shipyard. Select your location when you complete your registration (see link below). Last  year over 100 participants came together to clean along the Delta and create awareness of why trash  so damaging to our aquatic and coastal areas.

Coastal Cleanup Day provides  a way for tens of thousands of Californians to remove trash from our environments, but also reinforces that each of us, as consumers of goods and producers of those goods, has a responsibility to reduce, prevent, and clean up marine debris. For more information, and to register to volunteer, visit www.art4antioch.org/Coastal-Cleanup.asp or email Diane@Art4Antioch.org.  or call Diane Gibson-Gray at (925) 325-9897 or Julie Haas-Wajdowicz at (925) 779-7097.

For more information visit www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/ccd2.html.

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Gov. Brown’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan Cost $54.1 Billion: Simple Math – It’s Not Worth It

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

By Restore the Delta

Sacramento, CA – Restore the Delta, opponents of Gov. Jerry Brown’s rush to build Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom salmon and other Pacific fisheries today released its “Simple Math” total of costs.

The Brown Administration has released tens of thousands of pages but not one single, simple accounting of the costs,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta. “They are hiding the math because the cost keeps escalating and the benefits diminishing,”

Cost of Peripheral Tunnels:

Construction $14.5 billion

Operations & Maintenance $ 1.5 billion

Interest on Tunnel Revenue Bonds $26.3 billion

Habitat and Conservation $ 7.0 billion

Interest on General Obligation Bonds $ 3.2 billion

Administration and Research $ 1.6 billion

TOTAL $54.1 billion

All costs drawn from BDCP documents.

Restore the Delta is working everyday through public education and citizen activism to ensure the restoration and future sustainability of the California Delta. Your general contribution can help us sponsor outreach events, enable us to educate Californians on what makes the Delta so special, and assist us in building a coalition that will be recognized by government water agencies as they make water management decisions. Restore the Delta is a charitable 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax deductible. For more information visit www.RestoretheDelta.org.

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California Members of Congress blast Bay Delta Conservation Plan and process

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Call BDCP a disaster for the Bay-Delta region and urge officials to halt process and consider the concerns raised by northern California stakeholders

SACRAMENTO, CA – On Thursday, May 30, 2013, several Members of Congress from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta region spoke out against the current Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and the lack of input afforded their constituents at a press conference in Sacramento.  The current BDCP proposed by Governor Brown, the U.S. Department of Interior and south of the Delta interests would devastate the Delta region and ignores the concerns repeatedly raised by stakeholders in the Bay-Delta region.

Recently, the State of California released a 20,000 page long Administrative Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the BDCP.  Chapters 1-7 of the plan were released in the last few months and Chapters 8-12, which include the financing mechanism, were released yesterday.

Rep. Jerry McNerney, who represents most of Antioch, said, “The Governor recently released additional information on his deeply-flawed plan for the Delta region, which further proves he is intent on forcing this plan forward without any regard for the farmers, families and small business owners who rely upon a healthy Delta for their livelihoods, or for the incredible environmental damage that will result. As it stands, the plan will cost billions of dollars, devastate the most valuable water resource we have in California, and ultimately create no new water. There is a better way forward, and it must include the input of the people who stand to lose the most if the Delta is destroyed.”

Rep. George Miller, who represents the other portion of Antioch, commented, “Governor Brown and his administration officials have failed to demonstrate that they are taking into account the real physical and financial harm that can come to Bay-Delta communities if a BDCP plan is pushed through without the proper cost benefit analysis of alternatives, an adequate finance plan, or without acknowledging the best available science—science that has pointed to the real possibility that this plan could overtax our water resources and devastate the Bay-Delta region. Without doing so the BDCP is further than ever from a sustainable policy. It is time to seriously reevaluate this plan to ensure it fulfills the co-equal goals that it is mandated to adhere to, and takes into consideration the concerns of the businesses, families and communities that rely on a viable, healthy Bay-Delta region for their livelihoods.”

Other Members of Congress from Northern California added their thoughts, as well:

The State of California, in partnership with the federal government, is on the verge of recommending a plan for California’s water future that does nothing to solve California’s water problems and is a disaster for northern California.  For more than six years the BDCP has ploughed its way ahead led by a very small group of individuals, none of whom represent northern California.  Our constituents and stakeholders in the Bay-Delta region have been shut out of the process.  To find a long-term solution all of the stakeholders, not just the beneficiaries of the project, must have a seat at the decision-making table.  We can and we must do better for California.  Unfortunately, the current BDCP falls far short.” – Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-6)

The proposed BDCP is not a workable solution. It puts the interests of South-of-Delta water contractors ahead of the Delta’s and North-of-Delta’s farmers, fishers and small business owners. Livelihoods are at stake. Until we have a plan that is transparent, based on sound science and developed with all stake-holders at the table, then any process that moves us closer to building these tunnels will recklessly risk billions of California tax dollars and thousands of jobs. Let’s take the time to get this right.” – Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5)

The California water system is under enormous stress from a growing population and climate change. The proposed peripheral tunnel plan fails to deliver a real solution for this fundamental problem. Without adding a single drop of new water to the state’s supply, the tunnels would deliver massive amounts of water from Northern to Southern California, destroying the Sacramento Delta in the process. Instead of wreaking havoc on the Delta region with a massive, expensive plumbing system, we need a cost-effective, comprehensive water plan. I have outlined a strategy that would add to our water supply through conservation, recycling, storage, and improvements to our levees while respecting water rights and using the best science. It’s time for a midstream correction to the BDCP: let’s bring everyone to the table and develop a plan that meets the needs of all Californians.” – Rep. John Garamendi (CA-3)

All of us here understand that water is critical in our state and that there needs to be a bay delta solution that does not put south-of-delta water contractors ahead of everyone in or north-of-delta. It’s vital for our health, our environment, and our wallets that we have a comprehensive, long-term plan for securing water access and storage that’s based on sound science. The livelihoods of our local farmers, anglers, and small business owners are at stake, and the potential risk to jobs and billions of California tax dollars is too big to ignore. Continuing with this plan, without getting input from all stakeholders, and without considering other alternatives is a bad idea for Sacramento County families.” – Rep. Ami Bera (CA-7)

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