California's latest Water Wars & news
(You might want to view the video linked to the
right for an overview of the Delta)
The purpose of this page is to provide links and information regarding the
latest rounds of the California water wars, from the perspective of the
Delta, with a Steamboat Slough and North Delta region focus. The WHOLE
Delta is important, of course, and what happens in or for the South Delta
region does affect the North Delta and the whole state for that matter.
Bottom line issue: The Sacramento River has good, fresh water and
Southern California, Central Valley farmers south of the Delta, and San
Francisco Bay area developers want that water. Its not just about the
fish, contrary to what the news medial and politicians want us all to
believe! For much more documentation on this subject, we suggest you take
a look at
http://www.deltaREvision.com For general Delta
history go to http://snugharbor.net/delta_history.html for
links to the Delta's role in the water wars:
maps or photos and lots more info
Misc other Delta Water Wars docs
Please see California Water Wars
Page 1 for the most up to
Delta history links:
Delta Stewardship Council
or saved here at
Summary of Delta and waterflow-not
entirely accurate but a good review
Northern California Transportation Plans
Delta Conservancy and Delta Protection Commission
Click on each map to see a larger version of each. They give the
viewer an idea of the probable end result of the construction and levee
work that will be happening in the Delta this summer. The Hwy 12
plans fit right in with the "armored pathway" and DRMS Phase 2 maps.
2012_Erosion_Inventory_Report.pdf quite detailed report
If you want to look at the plans for improvements to HWY 12 from the
bridge at Tower Park to the bridge by B&W, click on the CalTrans map
details. Hwy 12 will be rebuilt just south of where it is now, for
If you want to get an idea of where the many other construction projects
related to new water intakes are located, click on the construction map or
pdf with links:
And for a fairly good summary of the water issues, (although I do not
agree with some of the "facts" in the brochure) take a look and the
summary by the DSC
Highway 12 Improvements for Summer 2012
SR12 Final Report.pdf
New water intakes on the Sacramento River
Other Construction in the Delta
A sample of one of the plans and ongoing construction north of the Delta
that is projected to impact or lower Delta flows. Look at the
computer modeling assumptions!
In 1950 Northern Californians were told the planned water exports would
utilize "surplus" water. The 1960 published summary of the plan
basically is a contract with the citizens of this state. In so many
ways, not just water conveyance, that contract has been broken by DWR.
Look at pages 12, 36, 39,40 and 44 but review the whole document if you
have the time. Export only "surplus" water? Promise broken!
Protect the Delta from salt encroachment? Promise broken!
Improve transportation in the Delta? For a while it was better, but
now CalTrans has taken down many state route signs and basic road signs
and has made it even HARDER to travel in some areas of the Delta, like
over on Ryer Island where CalTrans keeps shutting down the ferry to limit
access, and by planning road work to interfere with Delta access, like the
State Route 84 Memorial Day week end work of 2011.
No doubt, Northern California aquifers and environment are under attack.
Its not just about the Delta but also the fresh water that historically
flushed out the SF Bay annually. Is this the future the Bay area
wants for itself?
Just random maps and document references to keep for future needs
More on how the plans to modify Steamboat Slough by setting back the
channels could REALLY turn out: Reality Check
Letter to Solano County Resources regarding the indorrect
FEMA draft maps proposed-Public comment
A short video about how the BDCP will affect Delta and Bay aquifer...in
More BDCP documents were released for review this
week. Go to
to see how your tax dollars are being used. In the meantime, I show sections of two of the
maps I found interesting. The first is yet another incorrect Delta
map brought to you by the drafters of the BDCP, and the other is a section
of the proposed transportation plan for the Delta showing a few new "barge" landings
for Ryer and Grand Islands. And then I found the SFestuary 2010
newletter with a map of the Delta...says the same thing as the current
simple summary of proposals out there, except the Delta Corridors Plan so
that map is shown to the right
Some news/media sources have reported that the federal government/congress
may pass a bill that would declare all waterways of the United States as
federal-owned and/or controlled. Currently here in California the
waterways are state-owned unless listed as "navigable" as part of the
ocean or bays. If passed, the law would represent a HUGE change in
rights for all property owners in the US, not just California.
It is interesting to note the waterways the National Atlas lists for the
Delta...several North Delta rivers or sloughs are missing...why?
You might also want to pay attention to the TV weather maps...remember
just a few years back when the maps showed the Delta? Now the maps
just show a very short Sacramento River and a bit longer San Joaquin
River. Where's the Delta?!
NSS comments on the Delta Plan (draft) can be reviewed but its long and
has lots of data, and the assumption is made the viewer knows about CALFED
plans and Delta geography and historical data
Delta Plan letter &
nss comments online
I found an interesting document today. It gives lots of details
about changes to the Yolo Bypass area, Ryer Island included.
Construction is supposed to start 2012 but if you drive around the areas
shown in the document, many of the projects are already done or in
progress. Map to the right shows the work area and the funding source
sheet is next to it. Not clear...the ferry landing is still shown, along
with a ferry landing at Liberty Island. CalTrans still has not
responded to repeated requests for an update on the ferry...maybe they
don't want people around while they do this work?
images2012/deltastuff/projects-soon2012.pdf page 377
Look at these SAFCA.org documents!!!
More maps from SAFCA
go to the websites...
SCWA Alternate Intake location appears to be Green's Landing area...but
that is not within the scoping area of the notice maps. The 2005
planning document is interesting because it DOES locate several "joint"
use projects...like the intake being built now on Empire Tract.
DeltaRegion2005-wq.pdf Go to the map showing all the alternate
intakes proposed in 2005, then take a ride around the Delta...add up how
much EXTRA Delta water will be exported and it seems there will be no more
water left so why build a new chunnel?
To the right is an example of another name used instead of "canal" or
"conveyance" but the purpose of the project is the same...move Sacramento
River water away from the Sacramento River and over to the export pumps.
North Delta families might remember the limited access over the last 2
years on Hood Rd, Twin Cities Rd, etc as they "repaired" the bridges and
actually appear to have extended the bridges.
I also find it quite interesting that the latest BDCP maps (one of them)
shows McCormack/Williamson Tract as a lake or open waterway already.
And the map showing conveyance facilities does not show the Delta Cross
Channel...did they get the Folsom South Canal diversion completed already
to divert Sacramento River water even before it ever gets near the
The new Delta Plan EIR/EIS documents are available online along with many
different references and attachments. I posted to the right two of
the maps. It seems to me the 'recreation" map is either misleading
or proposes to eliminate waterways, but that does not seem to be the case
in the written verbage and based on the flood control plan also just
released. Here's some links:
Scroll down to see all the chapters. Look at the recreation and land
use chapters. Also see
huge file mostly of maps that seem to say much of the same things as the
1945 plan, even though the Delta has changed since 1945 (more silting,
less water flow)
and the appendix on the DSC website
Lots of details to these planning documents but no clear indication who or
what agency will use these!
For many months I've been asking some of the officials from different
state agencies about why there is so much water flow on Steamboat Slough a
few times of the year, and then there is historically low water flow other
times of the year. More concerning is draft maps for Delta flood
control that match the 1945 plan for flood control, but the conditions are
totally different than what was presumed in 1945! After meeting with
the representatives for NDWA to review my concerns, I compiled some maps
for reference, reviewed some of the past flow data on Steamboat Slough,
and submitted the letter linked to the right. I am of the opinion
that the extreme high and low tides we've seen on Steamboat Slough are the
cause of the undermining of Snug Harbor banks and road over the last few
years, and also the cause of the increase of silting and egeria densa
(water weeds) infestation.
Letter to the Central Valley Flood
(not my comments on the plan released 3 days later but on the same
While hundreds of people from many agencies meet and discuss the BDCP, the
"conveyance" portion continues to be built. Here's an update of some
of the new water intake facilities on the Sacramento River ...
Page with maps and documents related to the plan to divert Sacramento
River water to other areas of the state: focus of the documents
includes impacts on Steamboat Slough
Delta Conveyance Plans
Message to the Snug Harbor friends &
patrons who've contacted me: Contrary to what the latest BDCP
"Recreation" chapter says, and contrary to what the BDCP maps show,
Snug Harbor DOES exist, the resort is
privately-owned, and it is not called Hidden Harbor. I
do not know why DWR is intentionally contining to publish false data about
Snug Harbor, Ryer Island, Steamboat Slough, Andrus Island, Pierson
District, Grand Island and other Delta areas, but it certainly reflects on
the lack of integrety of the drafters, doesn't it? One has
to wonder why the "scientists" and engineers are willing to put their
professional reputations and licenses at risk for the BDCP water
exporters? NSS has attended to many meetings, including the ones
about Delta recreation, for the BDCP drafters to not know where Snug
Harbor is located. One of the main spokespersons for BDCP has come
to Snug Harbor, taken a boat ride starting from Snug Harbor docks and
boated right by Hidden Harbor. The false data can no longer be
considered "mistakes". Its intentional. But why? What
purpose does it serve the state agencies to publish easily refuted facts?
When the wind dies down, take a ride around the Delta, after reviewing the
2000 CalFed plan...much of the "preferred alternative" central conveyance
plan has been built. Now we see levee improvements that match up
with the water conveyance pathways...but there are other construction
projects added to the plan...makes one wonder who is paying for all this
construction happening in the Delta?
Bottom line: its about the water.
The Sacramento River has on average 17,000 TAF (thousand acre feer) per
year of flow into the Delta. New diversion facilities north of the
Delta, such at the pumps at Freeport and Verona, the diversion of water
from Fulsom Dam along the South Canal, and the diversion of water into the
Yolo Bypass will probably reduce that average to 15,000 TAF. The
diversions from the Delta Cross Channel Gates and Georgiana Slough already
has the capability to take between 5,000 and 6,000 TAF away from the
Sacramento River to be exported through the Mokelumne River conveyance
system. A 15,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) new conveyance tunnel
or canal would divert as much as 10,857 TAF. That leaves no more
than 1,000 to 2000 taf in the North Delta, which is totally insufficient
to maintain the water needs of the landowners, and the freshwater
navigation of the historic waterways...and it breaks many laws....and it
will destroy the Delta ecosystem. But the value of that extra
exported water is about $8.4 Billion...so there's the real incentive.
Yet another document has been released for comment. This one bases
changes to Yolo Bypass and possibly local island plans based on the
elevations...but which elevation map are we to believe is correct?
The Delta Stewardship Council released the notice of availability of the
Delta Plan for public comment review
pdf of links:
If the engineers and scientists hired by the state to
draft the Delta Plan can't even get the waterway names correctly, why
should anyone trust the rest of the science or basis for what they want to
do. After all, its about the water, isn't it? In the picture
to the right, screen-printed from the Delta Plan chapter and page that
showns above the pictures, the plan author says Steamboat Slough is really
Elk Slough....since when?
I've only done a quick review, but I saw that the
incorrect data regarding Ryer Island, generated in the first DRMS report,
showed up again in the form of a map providing wrong data. On a more
positive note, one map showing community areas of the Delta did include
the Snug Harbor peninsula...or it appears to. By the way, do you
recognize Snug Harbor in the photo to the right? But the
transportaton section of the plan does not quite mesh with DRMS Phase 2,
so its not clear what roads do or do not remail. Since the plan does
not say if/where the new conveyance canal/facility will be located, that
will have an impact on access roads no doubt. Look at the recreation
plan for the Delta...interesting sections. Remember to think about
what is MISSING from some areas of the Delta, and notice how they define
what type of boating can be done where.
DRMS Phase 2 still talks about channel margin
setbacks on Steamboat Slough...or do they mean Elk Slough?
more updates will be posted this week end.
Steamboat Slough continues to be listed as a potential habitat management
area. In the meantime, the state continues to ignore the fact ifs
one of the original navigable waterways and diverting even more fresh
water from the Sacramento River leaves insufficient flow for the natural
waterways of the North Delta...Steamboat Slough, Sutter Slough and "Old
Click (or double-click) on the sketch to the right to see a bit of
sarcastic humor. Sketch is a collaborative effort to express the
concerns of 2011 Steamboat Slough uses. Sketch was based on an 1880
sketch from a publication called the Illustrated Wasp.
Please contact me if you wish to use the sketch
Please also see the video and slide show presentations regarding 1850
Sacramento River and Steamboat Slough travel.
Links to Current Delta Confusions by:
Since about 2005, Delta waterway names, Delta Island names, and Delta
history has been confused and altered by some of the 'scientists" and
agencies mass-producing reports on the Delta. DRMS Phase 1 provided
false historical data on Ryer Island, while online mapping such as Google
provided blaitenly wrong road data, making it hard for people who wanted
to explore the Delta. Even though DWR did eventually correct some of
the wrong Ryer Island information, the false data still shows up-like in
the just released "Delta Plan".
CalTrans Google FEMA USBR
a brief look at how water exporters have been making more than $8 Billion
per year as the exports were increased 2000 to 2009.
combining_sac_yb_flow_problem.pdf looks at how simply adding the
water flow of the Yolo Bypass (on paper only) to the water flow estimates
of the Sacramento River results in another $1.4 Billion or more in value
of water exported.
See the video explaining the subject at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2s2ssOKyVw or if the link
doesn't work go to http://youtube.com and
put in the words "Yolo Bypass flow counted with Sacramento River" and the
video should show up.
Its also at
MWD, or Southern California water agencies, seem to promote using the
Sacramento Ship Channel as a water conveyance canal, and then tunnel under
the Delta. Click on the map to the right to see a larger version, and to
see the link to the presentation where the map was found. Actually,
this helps to explain why the CalTrans 2030 goods movement corridor does
not include the Sacramento Ship Channel but does includethe Stockton Ship
Channel. It also might explain the ongoing work and big construction
cranes seen in the Liberty Island area of the Delta this winter.
Might also explain why when you go to the Sacramento Port entrance, it is
blocked and people are not allowed to go in there. I thought it was
because of the fish study on the Sacramento Ship Channel but perhaps there
are other reasons to block access to the public at this time?
Some other interesting links to note:
MWD supports use of the Sacramento Ship Canal as a conveyance canal and
then tunnel under the Delta to the pumps.
future delta modeling by RMA:
Why the DCC and Dead Horse Island are to be remodeled
More documents, plans, studies and charts regarding the ongoing revision
of the Delta was released this week for review. There appears to be
changes to the boundaries of the Yolo Bypass area, which now includes
parts of Ryer Island. I hope the farmers are OK with that. The
new boundary seems to line up with the proposal for the extension of Hwy
160 and the proposal for a West side canal and tunnel option. Click
on the map to see the revised boundary of the Yolo Bypass planning area.
Even after spending billions of dollars planning how the Delta will be
revised, the BDCP graphics people don't know the difference between
Steamboat Slough and the Sacramento River...
If you want to read thousands of pages of plans about the Delta, go to
http://baydeltaconservationplan.com for the latest government jabber,
and for a historical review of the planning process go to
http://www.deltarevision.com...take a look at the planning maps first.
People have been asking what the night time movement around the Delta of
trucks, equipment, dirt, etc is for. I don't know why they are doing work
at night, but my guess is we will see some very substantial work on the
"central conveyance" route. The state uses the word "restoration"
but its clearly water conveyance-focused. More info at
images2011/deltastuff/delta_projects.pdf has good maps showing the
location of projects
Since 2005 Google has been changing the names of Delta roads, Delta
Islands and Delta waterways. I've kept screen prints of some of the
wrong data provided by Google maps or search engine, and I was contacted
with a request to provide some links. I did not have much time to
prepare, but at least the maps at the links speak for themselves!
This in NOT just about Snug Harbor Drive or Ryer Island...Google has been
misnaming many islands and locations in the Delta which negatively impacts
all of our businesses and families here in the Delta!
for update presentation
NSS worked with other owners of property along Steamboat Slough to host a
boat ride for Assembly persons, as a way to inform them of the very
negative impacts to this area of the Delta if the CALFED "Preferred
Alternative" aka "Delta Corridors Plan" aka "Armored Aquaduct" aka what
ever name the agencies come up with for the same plan...take the
Sacramento River water and export it to places it does not naturally flow.
dsc-RESPONSE TO DELTA RECREATION PLAN
NSS letter with a few map attachements sent to a few local farmers to
alert them regarding the comment periods for F&G Delta Plan, Franks
Tract-Through Delta Plan and the DPC "Economic Sustainability" plan
The Delta Protection Commission posted the 2nd draft of their Delta
Economic Sustainability plan. Lots of mistakes in it...like the
recreation map is missing 60% of the marinas & RV parks, an assumption is
made that recreation can make up for some of the HUGE loss of agriculture
income in the area from the proposed water diversions and the expanses of
restoration that will be required as mitigation for the water diversions.
The latest map seems pretty close to the 2006 draft that shows the
northern end of Steamboat Slough as used for "non-motorized" boating only.
The map to the right indicates the channel margin setbacks may be planned
for Ryer Island after all and there seems to be a greater focus on
"shallow water" habitat. I guess the government wants to build more
shallow areas at the base of the levees where the egeria densa can easily
grow so that the baby salmon will have no place to escape from the
striper? An example is seen to the south of Snug Harbor, north of
anyway, there will be more meetings about this so its still not clear what
will happen here on Steamboat Slough or at Snug Harbor.
images2011/deltastuff/6.17.10 SC Presentation Modeling Update.pdf
images2011/deltastuff/DSC-comments6-24-2011.pdf NSS comments to
Delta Stewardship Council related to the new Delta Plan-not regarding
specific elements of plan
The State of California, Department of Water
Resources, just published an update to their "Delta Risk Management
Strategy" Report, which was highly criticized by many. The DRMS
Phase 2 report is huge, and proposes very substantial changes to the
Delta. Actually, the proposals were made long ago, and the DRMS
report uses "science" and fancy graphics to validate the changes to the
Delta. Bottom line: San Francisco Bay Area communities like
Oakland and Berkeley want more water to allow for higher density
residential development. Farmers on the west side of lower central
valley want more permanent water supplies. All of SoCal water
agencies and developers want more fresh water for many differen reasons.
The Delta is prime farm land, with most of it
privately owned. If most of the Sacramento River water is diverted
before it gets to the Delta, or siphoned off at the North Delta, like at
Hood and Freeport and the Delta Cross Channel Gates, then there will be no
fresh water left for the Delta farmers....and oh yes, the native fish.
We have no idea how all this will affect our little paradise here on
Steamboat Slough. But we do know there are levee setback plans for
Steamboat and Sutter Sloughs, and this waterway keeps being referred to as
the Sacramento River in some planning maps.
Anyway, here's some of the documents to view:
DWR and USBR are finally posting their intent to do the Franks Track
Project, do dredging on the Mokelumne around Dead Horse Island near
Guisti's and dredge the Delta Cross Channel gates cannal to get more
Sacramento River water flowing to those south Delta water pumps.
This is all part of the 2000 CALFED Record of Decision conveyance plan.
Its just being built in sections. It also calls for another pump at
"Hood" or a place called Green's Landing. Go to
http://DeltaREvision.com and go to
the "videos" page if you want to see short videos about the central
conveyance being built now and to be completed in 2012 if the water war
lords get their way.
Note that the full set of docs don't cover just the Franks Tract work....
Anticipated Project Schedule
Draft EIS/EIR released for 45-day public
Final EIS/EIR released
EIR Certification and Record of Decision
Issuance of regulatory approvals and permits
Construction to begin
NRC Sacramento meeting to review the science of the Bay Delta plans
May 26, 2011
A new proposal for Recreation in the Delta is being circulated by State
Parks at a time when parks are being closed, Brannan Island included!
In addition, whicle the plan purports to promote the Delta, it actually
draws visitors away from the existing private marina/resorts and may
result in limited motorized boating access in some areas of the Delta...if
go to http://water.ca.gov to reach the
State parks website. PDF to the right also has active web links.
RESPONSE TO DELTA RECREATION PLAN.pdf
CalTrans has a section on their webiste offering maps for travel in the
state, including the San Francisco Bay and Delta Area. Notice
anything wrong with the CalTrans map? (Blue means water on the
CalTrans map key)
Yes, CalTrans in 2011 shows Ryer Island CURRENTLY as a lake in the
Delta...so now we understand why people were asking us if we are on a
lake. We're on Steamboat Slough, but lately another official
government agency says the waterway is now called the Sacramento
River....see below from the NOAA website. So if people trying to
find Snug Harbor are confused, don't feel bad: The government
agencies are much more confused than you are!
You can click on the graphics on the right for the full size version
"print screen" from each website. Some have suggested the government
is doing this to keep people away from the Delta so no one will complain
that they want to take even more fresh water away from the farmers, land
owners, businesses, local communities...and yes, the fish.
Go to CalTrans Response
The state of California has initiated new water well standards for
different naturally occuring minerals, including selinium, arsen ic or on
the periodic "As",
magnesium, saline and other natural chemicals that in abundance can become
toxic. For example, selinium is said to be building up from the
runoff of irrigation water from the Westlands Water District corporate
farms on the west side of the lower Central Valley. Westlands feels
recirculating the selinium through San Joaquin/Delta waters will solve the
problem. In the meantime, wells all over the Central Valley are
being tested for other chemicals and may have "failed" the latest
standard...a series of tests and reports over the next year will further
define well water future for Snug Harbor and many other places that have
well water as its only drinking water resource.
Info on new water well standards
There's thousands of pages to the BDCP/Conveyance Plan and about 200 of
those pages focus on effects to Steamboat and Sutter Sloughs along with
proposals to modify the channel margins to mitigate effects.
Negative effect of taking 10% more water out of the Delta: lower
water flows. Positive effect.... you guessed it: not good for
Delta landowners but great for the developers outside the Delta
who need new water sources to get the "ok" to build more homes and strip
malls. Click on the "screen print" of one page to the right, which
seems to summarize the goals of the "stakeholders" meaning those outside
the Delta after Delta water:
If you are interested in a review of the Controlled Flooding of Delta
Islands or the possible upcoming planned flooding of Bacon Island and Webb
Track for use as In-Delta water storage, and Staten Island for "water
detention" please go to the following links:
USACE and newsmedia
The US Army Corps of Engineers along with all the involved state and
federal agencies sent us notice that they are moving forward with dredging
of the Sacramento Deep Ship Channel area in the next year or two.
The documents (about 3000 pages to read!) indicate that water flow, etc
will not be impacted on Steamboat Slough due to this project. They
give details at
http://sacramentoshipchannel.org but a good summary draft
map was found at
and this lists ALL of the USACE Delta initiatives ongong now!
Towards the end of the Sacramento Ship Channel documents which detail the
possible dredged materials, I found the lower map to the right. Why
would the USACE be proposing to deposit dredging soils in the locations
targeted for "restoration" in the BDCP, and why would dredging soils from
the Sacramento River be transported all the way over to the east side of
the Delta locations? Very curious! (click on map for larger
Add to this the Freeport pumps were turned on in the past week, and that
facility has the capacity to divert 185 million gallons per day away from
the Sacramento River, according to the documents for that project. However,
other documents indicate the Freeport facility may have been designed to
be able to increase capacity, whit 4,000 cfs the possible goal. The
Delta Cross Channel has a 3500 cfs diversion capacity, when the gates are
open, and 2007 documents indicate an additional 1000 cfs of flow could be
achieved with channel modification in the east section of the Delta Cross
Channel and the Mokelumnke River. If anyone is interested in a
summary of CalFED over the last 12 years, please see the video links at
March 9, 2011
Prepared by N. Suard of SHR for an official "white paper" regarding the
historical and verifiable Delta floods.
Controlled flooding of the Delta
US Census Bureau has a slick map one can view...however, when it comes to
the Delta area islands and waterways, the US Census Bureau is confused!
Steamboat Slough was renamed Seven Mile Slough down by Snug Harbor Area,
and the northern end of Steamboat Slough was renamed Sutter Slough.
The US Census map shows two Sutter Sloughs in different places.
Confusing? The census people who showed up at Snug Harobr thought it
was called "Port Lane". When we provided documents to verify the
official name of Snug Harbor Drive, we asked where they got the name
"Port". They said from the last census...but the last census called
the road "Hidden Harbor Road"....hmmmm, seems there are still very
confused people doing the census mapping! Click on the maps for
large examples of each.
Delta Hit piece by freelance writer. Photo of boat on Snug Cove
referenced as being associated with "Snug Harbor Resort". Author
doesn't know what egeria densa is...the floating water weeds on the north
end of Snug Cove that only government agencies can eradicate if they feel
like it. The publication is owned by a media conglomerate whose
interest in discouraging people to come to the Delta is quite evident.
NOAA is the federal agency that creates the official navigation charts for
all coastal and inland waterways in the US. The California chart,
including the Delta region, was updated in 2009. Steamboat Slough is
clearly marked. By the end of 2010 NOAA was displaying the same
waterway as "Sacramento River". NOAA also renamed Sutter Slough as
"Sacramento River". In fact, on the same NOAA website you can
currently see both map sections at the links noted on the comparison
graphics to the right. Click on the maps to see enlarged versions of
Note that Google has some sort of contract with NOAA for mapping services.
Note also that Google does not give viewers island names in the Delta
anymore, on most maps.
DWR and the government agencies and scientists who use the technical data
from DRMS continue to cause confusion regarding Ryer Island, even though
DRMS was finally corrected regarding the URS/DWR Delta Island Inundation
histories. Long story, but the bottom line is this: If the
government can't even get their historical data right, how can they hope
to "fix" the future of the Delta?
Comparison of 2008, 2009 and 2010 URS and DWR Ryer Island-related maps/
Good news...I think!? The BDCP document has been posted
http://baydeltaconservationplan.com and about 50 of the 4000
plus pages are specifically related to conservation plans on Steamboat
Slough and Sutter Slough.
Summary pages and maps The BDCP used to call for "levee setbacks"
but that has been eliminated. It does say in the next one to ten
years five miles of channel banks somewhere along the Sacramento River
(below Sacramento), Sutter, Steamboat or the lower San Joaquin River would
have channel margins enhanced so that there is woody material hanging over
the water to provide shade, as well as leaves and twigs that fall into the
water to help create food sources for native fish populations.
Steamboat Slough and Sutter Slough are considered "important for native
fish species" but there's also a lot of predators (i.e. small mouth bass,
striper, catfish, etc) that tend to go after the juvenile salmon who
winter in the Delta before heading out to sea. So the good news is:
it does not appear Steamboat Slough will become a "managed habitat" area
anytime soon, if at all. FYI most of the documents from the last 12
years of studies, meetings and planning for the use of Sacramento River
water can be found at
http://deltaREvision.com which is a website run by Delta folks
tracking what is going on. We suggest you go to the historical maps
pages and then view the planning maps of the last 10 years. It looks
like Billions of dollars of taxpayer monies went into the studies that the
planning maps represent!
Bad news for
the Delta:....maybe: Lots of changes are proposed to happen around us,
which will have an impact on fresh water flow, which could increase
salinity around the south end of Ryer Island in late fall and winter
months. If the state and federal governments get their way, most of
the Sacramento River water will be taken out at the Freeport pump, at the
Delta Cross Channel Gates and perhaps eventually other areas along the
Sacramento River between Isleton and the American & Sacramento
rivers' confluence in Sacramento. At the same time, the Sacramento
Ship Channel will be dredged (notice was put in the Federal Register just
a few days ago). The Sacramento Ship Channel is proposed to be
dredged to 5 feet deeper, which will bring in more salt water intrusion to
the Delta also. Also in the plans - and about to be implemented - is
the Yolo Bypass annual inundation experiment where each year the Yolo
Bypass will be intentionally inundated several times to get salmon and
smelt to use the Yolo Bypass area instead of the Sacramento River...to
avoid the water pumps on the Sacramento River. (See planning maps at
http://deltarevision.com) or use
Yahoo to find the planning documents for the ship channel dredging.
Ryer Island good news: DWR seems to have recognized their
mistake regarding Ryer Island flood history, as the latest "white paper"
presented to the Delta Stewardship Council listed Ryer Island as having
only 2 incidents of flood, 1904 and 1907...before the current levees were
built! Hopefully this fact will keep Ryer Island off the "don't
repair" list the government now has in case any levees happen to fail.
Delta_plans-usace_matrix.pdf This 2009 document by the US Army
Corps of Engineers summarizes the Delta projects and plans going on now,
noting the lead agencies
for each project. To get an idea of how much money is being spent
and which agency is spending the money, look at the matrix. Our
future tax dollars hard at work!!!?
Nov 8 2010
USFWS and CA F&G
issued a "final" document showing their proposals for the Delta...which
looks quite different from the BDCP map, but takes over even more Delta
farmlands for restoration projects. We enlarged the section of the
map that shows Steamboat Slough area, so the viewer can get an idea of the
magnitude of the plans for this area. There are so many different
agencies with so many different versions of the future Delta, its hard to
know which reports and maps to read! One message is clear:
Federal and state powers have their sites set on the Delta! What is
not clear is how all of this will affect little places like Snug Harbor on
Here's some links to other reading
delta_flow_history.pdf Will the
lower water flow on Steamboat Slough create more egeria densa, like it has
in other parts of the Delta? While the BDCP latest map does NOT show
restoration on Steamboat Slough (click on the map to the right and below
to see full size version), the written part, found in "Chapter 3 of the
BDCP draft document, HRCM 12, lists channel margin restoration including 5
or more miles of levees which would happen between 5 and 50 years from
when the BDCP is approved...which is when? On the other hand, we
found a Sept 2010 California Dept of Natural Resources Agency "Issues for
Discussion" that does list Steamboat Slough for "Aquatic Habitat
Restoration" and that map shows all of Steamboat and Sutter Sloughs.
Why? So fish can avoid the megapumps planned for the Sacramento
That we know of, boating, fishing, camping and RVing will still
be here on Steamboat Slough...so to all of you who have asked if Snug
Harbor will still be around next year....YES! We're hanging in
Channel Margin Restoration2010.pdf
Please click on the map to the right. It is very similar to another
map provided by the folks from BDCP...from their "steering committee"
meetings. The data does not seems to be consistent. The one
consistent fact, however, is that the goal is to take more Sacramento
River water to be transported to places outside of the Delta,
irregardless of the impact to the Delta landowners, Delta fish, Delta
ecological environment, Delta economy, Delta farmers. All the
reports, studies, legislative and legal actions boil down to the exact
same thing...take more water from the Delta.
Note that the "interim
plan" of the state is the same as the "preferred alternative" plan for a
central canal as defined in 2000. Its clear the state and
federal governments are going forward with plans, without voter approval
and without effective local landower approval. What is not clear is
how it will affect the North Delta region in general, and Steamboat Slough
Notice to SH regulars & neighbors along Steamboat Slough
Nicky received a fairly concise description of how the BDCP
and Yolo Bypass plans would affect Steamboat Slough...or their assumptions
of it. In the meantime, since many different property owners from
Steamboat Slough, Ryer Island and Grand Island are asking me for more
info, Snug Harbor will host a meeting.
September 25, 2010 at 10:00
to 12:00 noon at the Grand Island Mansion. Jordan
Lindsey from the north end of of Steamboat Slough has gotten Grand Island
Mansion owners to host the meeting so video and slide shows will be
viewable. This will be a good time to ask questions.
Reference maps that may be of help:
This is NOT a meeting open to the public. The purpose
of this meeting is to have an opportunity for all Snug Harbor Drive, Ryer
Island, Steamboat Slough, Grand Island and Sutter Island residents or land
owners who want to know more to conveign. There is supposed to be a
representative of the BDCP and hopefully other government organizations
reps also. If nothing else, there will be available lots of
historical information, maps of the Delta both historic and proposed, and
a list of suggested links to gather more information for yourselves.
Focus of the meeting will be "What are the impacts on Steamboat Slough,
Sutter Slough and the Sacramento River from the Freeport/Hood new intake,
the reoperation of the DCC and the BDCP?
Steamboat Slough and the BDCP 2010
BDCP latest map is wrong on Delta infrastructure locations
How many ways can the BDCP folks get a map wrong? It seems DWR and
URS are not the only businesses or government agencies who get confused
about Delta roads and islands. Click on the map to the right to see
a larger version of it. The map is just a portion of the "Delta
infrastructure" map being used by BDCP and in their draft Delta Plan.
How many major mistakes can you find? (Hint: at least 6)
And then there's the more minor mistakes so you could come up with more.
Take a look at the map key, then test your knowledge of the roads
of this area of the Delta!
To see all the planning maps on the
Delta, you might want to go to
Delta hiking and biking trail
planning progresses. The Solano County portion of the Delta trail
indicates Ryer Island as a good biking trail, connected to the main Delta
Trail that goes through Rio Vista.
More info at:
California's Department of Boating and Waterways did an
assessment of how the CalFed Preferred Alternaitve, or the "central canal"
plan would affect boating patterns in the Delta. The map from this
assessment shows the areas where no wake zones are projected to be
enforced. The report also notes that boating use of waterways may be
affected by changed, like the opening and closing of the DCC during winter
and spring seasonal flows. The report was done in 2000 but is still
being used for the impact on boating portion of the process studies.
2000, with 2010 projections
USGS & BDCP
These two maps found at a presentation by USGS seems to summarize what is
going on in the Delta now...much of the "central canal" work has already
been done in phases. The dredging of the Mokelumnke River in several
places and the installation of 1500 foot fish screens at the Delta Cross
Channel Gates and Georgiana Slough would also be needed to stop salmon
from entering those areas.
We received an update of some pages of the BDCP with gives
a time frame to what is being planned for Steamboat Slough.
Apparently, sometime in the next 10 to 30 years after the BDCP is
approved, there would be up to 5 miles of channel margin
Steamboat Slough, under the BDCP, if there is funding. (from
June 23, 2010 confirmation by Karla of BDCP) But look what USACE,
who are responsible for the levees, seem to propose---major work to the
Sacramento River instead!
*** update says 5 miles of restoration, not the
BDCP re Steamboat Slough
USACE 2002 Delta Plans- shows
changes on the Sacramento River instead
This slideshow is a summary from the Metropolitan Water District in 2004
which summarizes the "Delta Plan" being implemented now.
Coalition Contacts (The coordinators of the latest attack
on the Delta, according to the 2004 MWD slideshow referenced above)
Steve Hall Association of California
Water Agencies (916) 441-4545 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rex Hime California
Business Properties Assn. (916) 443-4676 email@example.com
Fiona Hutton Red Gate
Communications (818) 508-1986
May & June 2010
We've been making comments on the Delta Plans, attending Delta Stewardship
Council meetings. Here's a link to comments by Nicky and others:
The new Delta Stewardship Council will be reviewing some "near term" or
interim actions for the Delta at their May 27 & 28 meetings. One the
list: Yolo Bypass modifications, Franks Track, Mokelumne River
changes, more water pumps....but you won't hear it in the news because...
(click on the graphic to the right)
if you want to print it out...use legal size paper.
Who owns California
Newspapers in 2010?
For many years, very wealthy individuals have coveted the fresh water of
the Delta. There will never be enough fresh water for all the big
plans some have for this state. So right now there is a huge battle
to take what is left of the annual fresh water flow of the Delta.
All Delta residents, businesses and land owners are basically innocent
victims stuck in the middle of California's latest water wars. But
this time its some of our own neighbors within the Delta that have
proposals on the table that could very negatively impact some areas of the
Delta, like the central and south Delta areas. Anyway, the latest
battle started in 1998 and this 2007 lecture by scientist John Cain is a
very good summary. Grab some popcorn, settle in and listen closely.
The slides are hard to see so I am asking for copies to post here.
2007 lecture on Delta Issues
Steamboat Slough from 1848 to 1890
pdf of shipwrecks:
Shipwrecks on Steamboat Slough
seems all California agencies and politicians are focused on devising
plans to "restore" the Delta. The Feds are also releasing their
studies and reports. The two maps give examples of the confusion
going on right now. Some agencies want to flood or restore target
areas for fish habitat, and some agencies what to use the same
privately-owned lands for other uses, such as locations for dredge
sediments. For example. look at the two maps...one shows Prospect
Island as flooded and one shows it as filled in using dredge sediments.
Maybe they mean fill in Prospect enough to make it another tule field for
Spring has sprung and the national media is out in full force. Staff
were told by visitors that Snug Harbor was in a recent Hue Howser Delta
focus, but we have not seen it yet.
National Weather Service
1-29-2010: All is fine here. The water is moving swiftly but
is not to high so far. The huge winds of last week did take out our
large tent area canvas roof, which was probably due for replacement
anyway! With all this rain, all the SoCal reservoirs now full,
NorCal reservoirs at 80% to 100% capacity, today the SacBee headlines are
about the "continuing drought" in California. Ironic, isn't it?
Snug Harbor office received a call from the US Coast Guard that it appears
there could be substantial rain runoff flowing through the Delta in the
next few weeks. We also received notice that the Delta Cross Channel
will be closed so that salmon and other fish traveling on the Sacramento
River will not enter through the DCC to reach the Mokelumne River and
central Delta area. That way, the fish have a higher likelihood of
survival if kept away from the suction pumps needed to send the water to
Central Valley farmers on the West side, and to other areas of
California's naturally arid lands. When the DCC gates are closed
there is higher water flow on the Sacramento River and Steamboat Slough.
view of the launch ramp showing high tide
Portions of the DRMS Phase 1 report regarding Ryer Island is finally
corrected and published online by DWR...but DWR does not advise all the
"scientists" using DWR technical data that the information regarding Ryer
Island is wrong...flood history, seismic risk and elevations were a few of
the wrong information published about Ryer Island...the Ryer Island north
ease of Rio Vista. NSS creates the website
http://ryerisland.com to chronicle all
the false data about Ryer Island that is published by DWR and online
Friday the 13th. An interesting day for the Governor to pick to sign
the New Water Plan which when/if implemented will drastically alter the
Delta as we know it today. Funding for the "central canal" is
already in place, as planned apparently, by the water districts that will
benefit from taking more Sacramento River water. That part of the
plan will happen with, or without, voter approval of a bond fund next
November. How much restoration will actually take place over time is
unknown. The governor still talks about building another canal
around the Delta, but even without another canal Sacramento water will
begin to be siphoned off "in the near term" meaning 2010 or 2011, most
likely. If you want to read a legislative analysis emailed to SHR
Link to another great video- history of CA water
Please go to New Delta Plan update.
The bills passed on 11-4-09 :-(
One bill supposedly passed just the senate yesterday. It would set
up a new agency to govern everything about the Delta and all other
agencies, county, state and federal, would have to work with this agency.
The governor would appoint the majority of this board, which would then
have the "authority" to decide what to do with the Delta. While
everyone is so worried about the building of the eastern canal, plans are
moving forward to do the central canal in the "near term", which would in
itself take so much water out of the Sacramento River at Hood or other
areas north of Walnut Grove, that the North Delta would undoubtedly have
tremendous negative effects. I personally do not understand why
every single Delta farmer and their families and staff are not camped on
the doorsteps of the state Capitol building today. as they stand the most
to loose in all of this. From document research, its clear the
Federal government is in favor of this "New Delta Plan" and has been
funding many of the studies to try to validate why the water should be
taken from the Sacramento River. Why in the world would Northern
California legislators be so willing to sell off the north's most valuable
(personal statement of SHR owners)
Link to another great video-
History of CA
water woes and who's behind the battle now!
Copy and Paste this line in your address bar:
This past week the state legislature called a "special
session" to address California water infrastructure issues. The
bills and proposals keep being changed, but it appears there will be a
vote on Monday 11-2-09 which could drastically alter the Delta as we know
it, for the sole purpose of transporting more water to areas south of the
Delta. Here's the link to the water bill:
Detail maps by area:
Snug Harbor staff and owners are very concerned that at least some of the
actions as proposed will eventually curtail boating in targeted areas of
the delta, including possibly the north end of Steamboat Slough, and could
subject all Delta landowners to restrictions of riparian water rights,
traditional use of existing properties, and excess regulations.
Our own video objecting to the current plan to take more water out of the
Delta, based on the current process and data available. Just not
enough FACTS are known and even more important, the Delta landowners and
citizens have been excluded from having a say in the planning process.
Click to watch video...
(Lots of the video was done at Snug Harbor since we paid for the video)
A representative of DWR recognizes that the DRMS Phase 1 report is
incorrect as to Ryer Island flood or inundation history. DRMS is a
very important report being used by various agencies to assess various
island worth and flood risk. We were able to prove they are wrong
about their assessment of Ryer Island. DWR email is at
Details on Ryer Island
News & TV
The Obama Administration has announced THEY will create a council to
oversee the Delta and will review existing studies to determine how best
to take (more) water out of the Sacramento River, while "restoration" of
the San Joaquin River has already begun. Summary of the BDCP:
take water out of the Sacramento River instead of and/or in addition to
the San Joaquin River. The media wants people to think its only a
fish vs people issue, entirely ignoring the fact there are people who
live, work, play and pray in the Delta.
One of the more humorous versions: Comedian Jon Stewart's take on
the Delta Debate.
Want to know what all the talk about transporting more water out of the
Delta is about? Try these websites:
http://baydeltaconservationplan.com (government website)
Delta lands in public ownership:
newspapers & internet
Do a search of news articles over the last week or so and one would assume
its already a done deal to make a new canal, alter the ecosystem of the
Delta, all for the end purpose of sending more high quality fresh water
out of the Delta. The plan is to sacrafice the lands of the
northwest Delta to environmental experiments in restoration as a
mitigation for the excessive taking of water and lands from the east and
south Delta areas for the purpose of creating a "reliable water supply"
for SoCal and Central Valley megafarms, with some Delta islands slated to
serve as new water storage facilities, or dams.
Click on the thumbnail
to the right to see the most recent BDCP "Draft" map found online, in
August. How the new Water Plan affects us here is still unclear but
concerning. I also found a map that looks a bit different, this one
in the BDCP brochure posted the last few days, apparently.
9-7-09- update 9-16-09
Internet & news
The State of California, through the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP)
released a draft proposal to widen the Mulkolnme River to convey more
water south, to create a new above or underground canal which would take
more water out of the Sacramento River and in the meantime they propose to
use the Cache Slough and Steamboat and Sutter Sloughs for "managed
habitat" areas to get fish, specifically salmon, to use this area of the
Delta to avoid being caught in the water pumps of the San Joaquin and the
new pumps planned for the Sacramento River between Walnut Grove and Hood.
This may or may not have long term negative effects on Steamboat Slough
boating and vegetation, and the Delta as we know it. All Delta and
California boaters should pay attention!!! The state has
infrastructure monies and will sell bonds to steamroll though their plan
to take Sacramento River water, which will further damage the ecology of
the Delta. Stay tuned....
August 3, 2009 draft, Chapter 3 of the BDCP
Go to the bottom of the following for more details of Steamboat Slough
Link to Delta proposed
Bay Area News Group
Article about the Delta with a focus on the two ferries to Ryer Island.
Nice little sidebar on Snug Harbor and the community of Ryer Island
Lots of hearings and a big gathering of Delta folks up on the steps of the
State Capitol to protest the Governor's plans for the Delta. One
really funny sign changed the BDCP, which means Bay-Delta Conservation
Plan to the "Big Dumb Canal Plan". Water is a biiiiig issue!
What is the big issue about the water? Very basically,
the large corporate farmers in the Central Valley, along Hwy 5 and 99, and
SoCal cities want Sacramento River water which is less salty than San
Joaquin River water. But if they take more water out of the
Sacramento River, it will make sea water come into the fresh water Delta,
and destroy Delta farmlands and recreation in this area. The
folks who study the effects of proposed new water plans say the salt in
the water at areas like Rio Vista and Ryer Island will as much as
double some times of the year. Farmers would not be able to
irrigate their crops and the higher salt in river water might affect wells
around here. Its a trade off...destroy the Delta properties to
preserve or expand the large corporate Central Valley farmlands, which
take the water before it can get to SoCal cities. But it also means
taking away private property rights of the Delta land owners, which didn't
used to be allowed in the United States without fair compensation to the
land owners. Delta land owners have riparian water rights and if the
state creates a new canal. as proposed, to take fresh water from the
Sacramento River, very serious constitutional property rights will be
Comments submitted to BDCP but they are ignored. 2/17/2009 was
submitted through the official website link process, but instead BDCP
shows a previous email from Nicky Suard. Karla Nemeth is notificed
of the BDCP public comment missing in the online list and she tells NSS it
will be looked into. Nothing every happens and as of mid-2011 the
comments are still not showing and still ignored.
Delta Vision & DRMS
NSS went to several different meetings to inform the Delta Vision drafters
that their maps of the Delta were wrong as to Delta Island names, wrong as
to Ryer Island/Delta flood history, misleading as to Delta elevations and
subsistence, and many other people also complained about the data.
In addition, the Delta Vision plan calls for changes to Project Levees and
the federal government has not approved that, at least that is admitted in
public meetings. A report called DRMS Phase 1 is published in
"final" form and it contains even more FALSE data about Delta island
history, including false flood history for Ryer Island. In the
meantime, the "final" version of Delta Vision is published...with some
corrections as requested by NSS to the maps used (they had island names
wrong) but not all corrections. The cover map and internal Delta map
still have a wrong island name!
http://www.RyerIsland.com for more
A group of "scientists" under the program name of Delta Vision conducts
meetings in the Delta about their vision for the Delta. The meeting
is at the Ryde Hotel and it appears more than 100 people attend even
though its right before one of our really huge holiday week ends.
The maps showing their plans to flood many Delta islands is very offensive
to many Delta people. There is a bit on Delta history and I let them
know they are wrong about Ryer Island history. The main speaker Mr.
Isenberg refers to a Delta Risk Management Strategy report. There is
also an organization called PPIC that is publishing data about the Delta
that contains false information about Ryer Island. In a conversation
after that initial meeting, NSS tells Mr. Hansen, one of the scientists,
that the whole plan looks like a bunch of developers got together and
brought on the governor to get the Bay Area environmentalists to discuss
the Delta and come up with big visions to "restore" the Delta, but what
would actually happen is that more Delta water would be taken and there
would be no $$ for restoration and the "scientists" and environmentalists
would have been manipulated. I wonder if Mr. Hansen remembers the
conversation (12/2011 partial summary of notes from meeting)
My draft to the Delta Vision board who was using
false Ryer Island data to make decisions.
At the time, I did not know that decisions were
made years ago without the knowledge of
the people most affected by the decisions.