The 2-Gates project is being pushed forward, now supported by Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer as part of a California Water Crisis initiative using U.S. stimulus money.
The 2-Gates will close off Old River and Connection Slough periodically from December through June 30, up to 10 hours per day (Old River) and 20 hours per day (Connection Slough). Since the closing is tide-based and varies, it will be difficult for boaters to know when they are open and when they are closed.
This will severely impact recreational boating, impact safety rescue operations (coast guard, marine sheriffs – could cost lives), impact local economies, (e.g., increased time/cost to get pile drivers down from Bethel to Discovery Bay, marina operators will lose business when boaters cannot get from one Marina to their favorite boating/fishing sites, etc., etc.).
The list of concerns and issues with installing gates in primary navigation waterways is long and significant. In short, the gates will isolate Discovery Bay by periodically closing off the only un-bridged waterway from here to the rest of the Delta; thus could easily end up impacting our home values as well as our boating safety.
And for what reason? The purpose behind installing the 2-Gates is to increase the export of water from the Delta to Central and Southern California – even though the past years of excessive exporting of water has been steadily ruining the entire Delta ecosystem, resulting in a ban on commercial salmon fishing along the entire California/Oregon coast in the past two years, and will eventually impact the water in our own back yards, changing our fresh water river to brackish, salty, polluted water. Which will pollute our wells, our drinking water. A very scary thought!
The current approaches are not the right way to solve California’s water crisis.
What can we do to stop the spending of money on short-sighted measures that are destroying the Delta and will significantly impact our Delta communities and our way of life?
First, the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the 2-Gates Fish Protection Demonstration Project is now posted on the Bureau of Reclamations’ 2-Gates Web site, www.usbr.gov/mp/2gates/ for a 30-day public review and comment period. Second, the Bureau of Reclamations will hold a hearing on the 2-Gates Project at the Discovery Bay Elementary School, 1700 Willow Lake Road, on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 6:30-8:30pm. Show up.
Jan McLeery, Discovery Bay