Hosted by the grassroots organization Save the California Delta Alliance (STCDA), the community forum will include updates on the peripheral canal project and the impact it would make on the Delta and its residents.
“We are holding the town meeting to make sure the community is up to speed on the current, fast-paced events which will lead to the approval – or rejection – of the peripheral canal/twin tunnels project,” said STCDA member Jan McCleery. “It seems no one in the state is currently looking at the many other options … at times it seems it’s a done deal, a stacked deck.”
But McCleery believes that public participation can make a difference. “We showed we could stop a big, fast-moving project when the Two Gates project was being steamrolled through,” she said. “That took a combination of community involvement, raising money and hiring scientists to prove the gates were based on flawed science … stopping the canal will be harder, but we are hopeful.”
The meeting will also include the screening of a documentary produced by Restore the Delta, another Delta conservation nonprofit organization. “Over Troubled Waters,” released last September, was designed to educate the public about opposition to the peripheral canal, encourage smarter, more positive water policies and explore ways to help preserve the region for generations to come. Narrated by actor Ed Begley Jr., the 45-minute film has been shown at venues up and down the state.
“A peripheral canal would devastate the region,” said Roger Mammon, a founding board member of Restore the Delta. “There are a lot of hurdles to overcome, but it can, I believe, be stopped.”
The two-tunnels project – approximately the length of the Panama Canal – would pump water into the tunnels from the Sacramento River (about 50 miles north of the Delta, where pumps now divert water into the California aqueduct). The project is part of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), a document that includes a number of proposals for dealing with the Delta’s fragile ecosystem and ongoing water issues throughout the state.
McCleery hopes that anyone who lives on or near the Delta – or simply cares about the waterway’s fate – will attend the town hall meeting.
“Regardless of whether you live on the water, golf course, on a farm or just love fishing the Delta waterways, the health and vitality of Discovery Bay – and all of the Delta communities – are reliant on clean, healthy Delta water,” she said. “Please come to the town hall meeting to participate and see how together we can make a difference.”
The event will be held in the gymnasium of Discovery Bay Elementary School, 1700 Willow Lake Road. For more information on the STCDA, visit www.nodeltagates.com. To purchase a copy of the DVD, log onto http://overtroubledwaters.org. To learn more about Restore the Delta and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, visit www.restorethedelta.org.