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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     For general Delta history go to               for links to the Delta's role in the water wars: deltahistory-links5-2012.pdf    summary2011.pdf
Date Description maps or photos   and lots more info also at Misc other Delta Water Wars docs
6/4/2012 Please see California Water Wars Page 1 for the most up to date news  

Delta history links: deltahistory-links4-2012.pdf

Delta Stewardship Council   or saved here at deltaplan2012.pdf  map:   Summary of Delta and waterflow-not entirely accurate but a good review
Northern California Transportation Plans summarized at and also  or maybe or
Delta Conservancy and Delta Protection Commission documents:
      nss comments    DWW misc
5-8-2012 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
5-4-2012 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 that section
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 Rive Other Construction in the Delta

Water Issues: water-issues-dsc2012.pdf
5-2-2012 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!  
4-23-2012 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.
  PDF:  1960Bulletin_No._76_Delta_Water_Facilities-Color.pdf
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?
4-10-2012 Just random maps and document references to keep for future needs DWW misc
4-6-2012 More on how the plans to modify Steamboat Slough by setting back the channels could REALLY turn out:  Reality Check bdcp-steamboatplans.pdf
3/14/2012 Letter to Solano County Resources regarding the indorrect FEMA draft maps proposed-Public comment  solanocount-mhmp.pdf
video summarizing comments
ryer-history-PartA.pdf   ryer-history-PartB-small.pdf
snugharbordrivetimeline.pdf    Delta_island_flood_history_compared.pdf
3-7-2012 A short video about how the BDCP will affect Delta and Bay layperson's terms
2/29/2012 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 BDCP basically...
2/28/2012 simple summary of proposals out there, except the Delta Corridors Plan so that map is shown to the right
2/27/2012 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?!
2/1/2012 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  click here: Delta Plan letter & Attachments  nss comments online  page 197-nss

1/12/2012 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?

 The documents:   images2012/deltastuff/projects-soon2012.pdf page 377


Look at these documents!!!
More maps from SAFCA
go to the websites...

2/21/2012 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 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?

1/5/2012 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 Sacramento River?
12/31/2011 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 and the appendix on the DSC website  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)  Lots of details to these planning documents but no clear indication who or what agency will use these!


12/27/2011 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 Control Board
(not my comments on the plan released 3 days later but on the same subjects!)
12/24/2011 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 ... Intakes Updates
12/18/2011 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
12/11/2011 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?
12/3/2011 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 there's the real incentive.
11/21/2011 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? elevation comparisons: compare_elevations.pdf
11/4/2011 The Delta Stewardship Council released the notice of availability of the Delta Plan for public comment review    pdf of links:   deltalinks.pdf      deltalinks.pdf.docx

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 River" Sacramento.

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". 
NOAA    DBW   CalTrans   Google   FEMA   USBR
  8billionvalue.pdf is 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  or if the link doesn't work go to and put in the words "Yolo Bypass flow counted with Sacramento River" and the video should show up.

Its also at
10/15/2011 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


10/4/2011 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.

October 2011

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 for the latest government jabber, and for a historical review of the planning process go to a look at the planning maps first.
9/23/2011 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
9/22/2011 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! senators.pdf
8/29/2011 for update presentation CONVEYANCE-PLANNING.pdf

8/26/2011 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
8/15/2011 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 Delta-plans-2011.pdf
7-26-2011 The Delta Protection Commission posted the 2nd draft of their Delta Economic Sustainability plan.  Lots of mistakes in 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 Hidden Harbor...
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/delta-rec-plan2011.pdf
images2011/deltastuff/6.17.10 SC Presentation Modeling Update.pdf


research 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 6-24-2011
6/16/2011 6-16-2011

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:
DRMS_Phase2_Report_Section6.pdf   DRMS_Phase2_Report_Section7.pdf
DRMS_Phase2_Report_Section8.pdf   DRMS_Phase2_Report_Section11.pdf
DRMS_Phase2_Report_Section14.pdf   DRMS_Phase2_Report_Section16.pdf
DRMS_Phase2_Report_Section18.pdf   DRMS_Phase2_Report_Section21.pdf 



6/9/2011 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 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 comment period

Spring 2011

Final EIS/EIR released

Fall 2011

EIR Certification and Record of Decision

Spring 2012

Issuance of regulatory approvals and permits

Spring 2012

Construction to begin

Summer 2012

6/1/2011 NRC Sacramento meeting to review the science of the Bay Delta plans Challenges_science.pdf
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 enacted.
go to to reach the State parks website.  PDF to the right also has active web links.
May 2011 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 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
May 2011 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.  Notice and Info on new water well standards
updated 5/27/2011
4-28-2011 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:
3/18/2011 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   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 version)

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

Feb 2011 Prepared by N. Suard of SHR for an official "white paper" regarding the historical and verifiable Delta floods.   Presentation: Controlled flooding of the Delta
Documents: timeline_of_delta_levee_failures.pdf
1/25/2011 images2011/maps/noaa-census_maps_wrong.pdf 
The 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. 
1/1/2011 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 each.

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 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/
updated 12/4/2010 Good news...I think!?  The BDCP document has been posted online at  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 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 avoid the water pumps on the Sacramento River.  (See planning maps at 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.

posted 11/2010 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 Final_ERPCS_8-31-10.pdf     Public_Draft_Recovery_Plan.pdf     Recovery_Strategy_Summary.pdf 
ryer-grand_emz2010_possible_impacts.pdf    BayDeltaMOUSigned.pdf  COE_080310.pdf

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 Steamboat Slough!
  Recovery_Strategy_Summary2010.pdf  calfed_project2011.pdf
October 2010

Oct-Nov 2010 Here's some links to other reading   egeria_densa_dbw_report.pdf
bdcp_steamboatslough2010.pdf  bdcp2010map.pdf    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 River!
That we know of, boating, fishing, camping and RVing will still be here on Steamboat to all of you who have asked if Snug Harbor will still be around next year....YES!  We're hanging in there.  BDCP Channel Margin Restoration2010.pdf

dcc-jt-6-1-2004.pdf   nss_jt_docs.pdf
10-3-2010 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 in particular.
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.

MEETING NOTICE:          Notice in PDF
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:  delta_reference_maps.pdf

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

Steamboat Slough reduced flows

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
BDCP map is wrong
DPC 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:

June 2010
DBW 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.  Through the Delta canal plans BDCP through Delta canal plan
BDCP 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 restoration on 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 whole length:  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

Rex Hime California Business Properties Assn. (916) 443-4676

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:
May 2010
May 2010 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)  or this: 
media2010-players.pdf  if you want to print it out...use legal size paper.
Who owns California Newspapers in 2010?
5/31/2010 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
May 2010 Shipwrecks of Steamboat Slough from 1848 to 1890
pdf of shipwrecks: 
Historic Shipwrecks on Steamboat Slough
April 2010 It 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 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 "carbon-sequestering" farming?
March 2010 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. March 2010
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?

1-15-2010:  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

December 2009 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 to chronicle all the false data about Ryer Island that is published by DWR and online mapping sources DRMS Issues
11-13-09 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  click here.


Link to another great video- history of CA water woes


  Please go to New Delta Plan update.  The bills passed on 11-4-09  :-( 11-5-09
11-3-2009 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 asset?
(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.

Video online
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)
10-15-09 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.


September 2009 Want to know what all the talk about transporting more water out of the Delta is about?  Try these websites:  (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 Updated 8-7-09:  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 proposals:

Link to Delta proposed legislation 2009


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 7/30/09

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 violated.

bdcp 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.  images2009/DeltaNews/bdcp3-13-09.pdf
images2009/DeltaNews/February 17.pdf
FEB 2009
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!  images2011/timeline_of_delta_levee_failures.pdf Fall 2008 for more info
Delta Vision 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) August 2008
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.
  Snug Harbor Resorts, LLC
3356 Snug Harbor Drive, (& Port Lane, Starboard Lane and Marina View Circle are roads located within the resort grounds)
Ryer Island in Solano County.  near Rio Vista, CA
GPS:   Use Port Lane, Walnut Grove, CA  95690, even though we are located near Rio Vista, Solano County  
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