Archive for the ‘Delta & Environment’ Category

Contra Costa’s green future? Sierra Club to hold Green New Deal Town Hall Feb 21 in Antioch

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

The Green New Deal is a proposed package of legislation first introduced in Congress by freshman Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey. It has aroused support and controversy in equal measures.  The legislative proposal is their comprehensive approach to address claims of climate change and has become a central discussion point in the 2020 election. It is being championed by self-described democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the front runners in the Democratic presidential primary race.

The two bills that make up the package are House Resolution 109 and Senate Resolution 59. In the Senate, Markey introduced the bill and it was defeated with no votes in favor and 57 votes against, and 43 Senators voting present in protest to there not being any debate or expert testimony. The House bill has not yet received a vote. However, the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis was created to study the list of proposals contained in the legislation.

But what does it mean for Contra Costa County?

The Sierra Club, one of America’s leading environmental protection organizations, is hosting a Town Hall in Antioch to discuss the plan and how Contra Costa communities will benefit and be impacted.

The event will take place on Friday, February 21st from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the Antioch Community Center, 4703 Lone Tree Way, Antioch.

Featured speakers include Dr. Mark Stemen, professor of geography, planning, and civics from California State University, Chico. Stemen is a noted authority and a highly entertaining speaker who is much in demand.

Also speaking will be youth leaders from the Sunrise Movement of Northern California. The Sunrise Movement is at the vanguard of environmental activism, their tactics of organizing have demanded attention from both elected officials and the public.

In addition, Deirdre Des Jardins, principal with California Water Research, will discuss water challenges for the Delta Region. From the Sierra Club, Helen Fitzmaurice will speak about the importance and ways to educate schools and students on climate change. Public officials and candidates have also been invited.

In response to the proposed legislation it was announced on Wednesday, Feb. 12 that a new website was launched to expose the dangers of the Green New Deal by America Rising Squared, which, according to their website, is an organization “dedicated to promoting the principles of freedom, limited government, free enterprise, and a strong national security, and pushing back against big government liberal policies and the special interests that support them.”

The Green New Deal Town Hall in Antioch promises to be a stimulating and exciting discussion of Contra Costa County’s future.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.


Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Annual Coastal Cleanup Day at Antioch Marina Saturday, Sept. 21

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Volunteers are needed for the Annual Antioch Coastal Cleanup Day to be held Saturday, September 21 from 9:00 AM to Noon.

It’s part of the 35th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, which is the state’s largest volunteer event. This year, there will be one location for Antioch, the Antioch Marina.

We are doing another boat based (i.e. canoe and kayak) cleanup of the shoreline for the Friday before, September 20th, check-in at 8:30am, on the water from 9-11am. Space is limited for this event. You can bring your own kayak or canoe, or Delta Kayak Adventures will have some kayaks available for $10/person.

To volunteer, visit and sign up using the form on the tab named “Volunteer Registration”. If you have more in your group than the form allows, email Julie Haas-Wajdowicz at with the information on your group.

For questions regarding the event, contact the Environmental Resource Line at 925-779-6137 or email

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Contra Costa Sheriff’s Marine Patrol continues search for missing Delta boater

Sunday, August 25th, 2019

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

Sunday morning at about 2:18 a.m., Delta Station Deputy Sheriffs responded to Indian Slough for a missing person detail. Two men were fishing on an inflatable raft at Indian Slough when the raft apparently had a malfunction. One of the men swam to shore, but the other person was unaccounted for.

A CHP helicopter, U.S. Coast Guard and Contra Costa Fire Protection District arrived on scene with boats and aerial support, however, the missing man was not located

Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit later arrived on scene and took over the investigation and search. Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to contact Sheriff’s Office dispatch at (925) 646-2441.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Rattlesnake Advisory: Rattlesnake safety in the Regional Parks

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Photo from Snakes of the EBRPD brochure.

As the weather heats up, rattlesnakes become more active in many of our parks, their natural habitat. They like to explore when the weather gets warm which can lead to more encounters with humans and dogs. The East Bay Regional Park District is advising that the public take snake safety precautions when visiting Regional Parks.

Safety Tips for Visiting Regional Parks

  1. Always hike with a friend so you can help each other in case of emergency.
  2. Look at the ground ahead of you as you are walking.
  3. Look carefully around and under logs and rocks before sitting down.
  4. Avoid placing your hands or feet where you can’t see clearly.
  5. Check the area around picnic tables, campsites, and barbecues before using them. If you encounter a rattlesnake in these areas, notify park staff.
  6. Keep pets on the designated trails and away from snakes if they see one.
  7. Bring plenty of water for yourself and your pets as many parks do not have a direct water supply.

What to Do If You See a Rattlesnake

Leave it alone – do not try to capture or harm it. All park wildlife is protected by law. If you see a snake on a trail, wait for it to cross and do not approach. Then move carefully and slowly away.

What to Do If Bitten by a Snake

  1. If bitten by a rattlesnake, stay calm and send someone to call 911. Remain calm by lying down with the affected limb lower than the heart. Do not waste precious time on tourniquets, “sucking,” or snake bite kits. If you are by yourself, walk calmly to the nearest source of help to dial 911. Do not run.
  2. If bitten by any other kind of snake, wash the wound with soap and water or an antiseptic and seek medical attention.
  3. If you are not sure what kind of snake bit you, check the bite for two puncture marks (in rare cases one puncture mark) associated with intense, burning pain. This is typical of a rattle snake bite. Other snakebites may leave multiple teeth marks without associated burning pain.

Snakes are an important resource in the natural environment. They are prime controlling agents of rodent, insect, and other reptile populations. They must be enjoyed from afar and left where they are found. It is illegal to collect, kill, or remove any plants or animals from the East Bay Regional Park District. Please help us to protect wildlife and their environment for present and future generations. Additional information is available at or download a PDF version of our Common Snakes.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Delta Blitz operation on Sunday, May 26

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

Photo by CCCSheriff.

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

With the start of boating season this weekend, the Marine Services Unit of the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff is hosting a Delta Blitz on Sunday, May 26, 2019.

Numerous local, state, and federal agencies will be taking part in this operation and will focus on boating safety, education and enforcement in the Delta.

The ‘ABC’s of Boating’, a handbook of boating rules, is available from most boating shops. Boaters can go to the California Division of Boating and Waterways website at for information on boating safety and the California Boater Card. If anyone has any questions about boating safety, please contact the Marine Services Unit at (925) 427-8507.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

State withdraws twin tunnel WaterFix approvals, initiates planning, permitting for smaller single tunnel

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

Photo: CA Dep’t of Water Resources

SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today is taking formal steps to withdraw proposed permits for the WaterFix project and begin a renewed environmental review and planning process for a smaller, single tunnel project that will protect a critical source of water supplies for California.

Today’s actions implement Governor Gavin Newsom’s direction earlier this year to modernize the state’s water delivery infrastructure by pursuing a smaller, single tunnel project through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The project is needed to protect water supplies from sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion into the Delta, as well as earthquake risk. It will be designed to protect water supply reliability while limiting impacts on local Delta communities and fish.

This action follows the Governor’s recent executive order directing state agencies to develop a comprehensive statewide strategy to build a climate-resilient water system.

“A smaller project, coordinated with a wide variety of actions to strengthen existing levee protections, protect Delta water quality, recharge depleted groundwater reserves, and strengthen local water supplies across the state, will build California’s water supply resilience,” said Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot.

DWR Director Karla Nemeth took action today to rescind various permitting applications for the WaterFix project, including those in front of the State Water Resources Control Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and federal agencies responsible for compliance with the Endangered Species Act. Documents related to these actions are available here.

DWR will work with local public water agencies that are partners in the conveyance project to incorporate the latest science and innovation to design the new conveyance project, and work with Delta communities and other stakeholders to limit local impacts of the project.

Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay), co-chair of the California Delta Legislative Caucus, issued the following statement today after the state Department of Water Resources officially withdrew its permit application to build the twin tunnels.

“It’s very encouraging that after all these years we are finally being heard by the Governor’s Office. The withdrawal of the permit application acknowledges that alternative solutions have been either overlooked or ignored. I look forward to working with the Governor and Secretary Crowfoot to build a comprehensive water plan that is a benefit for all Californians.”

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

After 65 Years, salmon are returning to the San Joaquin River

Monday, April 29th, 2019

Spring-run Chinook. Photo by Bureau of Reclamation.

By Nick Cahill, Courthouse News Service

Surviving an exhaustive maze of manmade barriers and hungry predators, a hardy group of salmon have beat the odds and returned to spawn in one of California’s most-heavily dammed rivers.

Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River. The dam impounds Millerton Lake, 15 miles north of Fresno, California. (Nick Cahill/CNS)

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says for the first time in over 65 years, threatened spring-run Chinook adult salmon have returned to the San Joaquin River near Fresno to complete their life cycle. The return of the hatchery-reared fish marks a huge milestone for a billion-dollar undertaking to revive an ancient population of salmon that disappeared in the 1940s with the opening of Friant Dam.

Officials announced that at least five adult spring-run Chinook born in fish hatcheries and released into the wild several years ago, have made the 370-mile trek from the Pacific Ocean back to the San Joaquin River.

Don Portz, who oversees the fish restoration program for the bureau, says the salmon that have been caught in nets prove that the joint-effort by the feds and state is going in the right direction.

“This is monumental for the program,” Portz said in a statement. “It’s a clear indication of the possibility for these fish to make it out of the system as juveniles and then return as adults in order to spawn.”

For years California’s second largest river teemed with salmon, providing food for Native American tribes and then settlers during the 1800s. But as the Gold Rush died down, Californians headed south and found the Central Valley ripe for farming.

Chinook salmon equipped with tracking tags being readied for release into the San Joaquin River in California. (Nick Cahill/CNS)

In their pursuit of water, farmers and government agencies ended up damming the river dry in some parts by the 1940s. Water was divvyed up and delivered in canals to farmers for crops like almonds and cotton, but the native salmon species and their spawning habitat vanished. Today, parts of the river go dry during certain times of the year and other sections have manmade barriers that prevent salmon from reaching their spawning beds.

Thanks to a nearly two-decade-long lawsuit fought by the National Resources Defense Council, things are changing on the San Joaquin. A settlement reached in 2006 with the federal government set goals of restoring native fish populations to “good condition” without overtly damaging water suppliers’ take of the river; the state and federal government plan to spend over a billion dollars to restore flows, wetlands and fish to the river.

The five Chinook captured this month returned from the ocean on their own, but had to be transported by researchers in a 500 gallon tank to bypass manmade barriers. The biologists confirmed that the fish were from a California hatchery because they were missing a small rear fin.

The five adult salmon and any others that may return will hold in the cool water below Friant Dam for the summer, before hopefully spawning in the fall.

“Now, that’s worth a toast!,” tweeted Kate Poole about the salmon’s return, senior director at the NRDC.

The long-term goal is to update the barriers to allow fish to swim upstream in the future without being transported, Portz said. Restoration efforts are meant to help spring and fall-run Chinook, Pacific lamprey and white sturgeon.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Antioch High Earth Team, County Public Works to host Earth Day event at Upper Sand Creek in Antioch Saturday

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Contra Costa County Public Works will host an Earth Day event at Upper Sand Creek on Saturday, April 20 from 9am – Noon.  The event will take place at 6600 Deer Valley Road in Antioch.

Join the Earth Team interns of Antioch High School, Supervisor Diane Burgis, the Contra Costa County Flood Control District, Contra Costa Resource Conservation District, and Friends of Marsh Creek as they celebrate Earth Day.

Spend the morning in the beautiful Upper Sand Creek watershed, exploring an area that is usually closed to the public. In 2013, the Flood Control District held the first planting event to celebrate the completion of the detention basin. Come see for yourself how much the basin has changed.

Participants will help with removing invasive species, plant new oak trees, learn how to protect the environment around them and compete in a trash pickup.

The students will be showing off the skills they’ve learned over the year they spent interning with Earth Team.

Activities will include:

  • Trash Talking Showdown – Join a team to see who can pick up, and properly identify, the most trash.
  • Help remove invasive species and plant the volunteer nursery native plants – Since the initial planting in 2013, a lot has changed with the volunteer nursery, but we still need your help to keep it going!
  • Learn about water quality sampling, your local creeks and what you can do to keep them clean!

You can sign up at  Earth Day is celebrated around the world. It is a day celebrating environmental protection and raising awareness of how our actions affect the environment.

What to Bring:

  • Waiver, filled out and signed.
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Gloves
  • Reusable Water Bottle

Why Earth Day?

Every year Earth Day is celebrated around the world. It is a day celebrating environmental protection and raising awareness of how our actions affect the environment.


Are there minimum age requirements to enter the event?

Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. All volunteers under the age of 18 must have a waiver signed by their parent or guardian.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter