While I am a resident of Southern California, I support the work of Restore the Delta, a broad coalition of Delta residents, farmers, environmentalists, concerned citizens, and business people from throughout California. Restore the Delta is a grassroots organization that advocates for adequate water flows into the Pacific Coast’s largest estuary – the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Restore the Delta is fighting to protect the primary nursery for California’s coastal fisheries, including salmon fisheries that support the food chain for Orca whales. Restore the Delta is also fighting to protect water needed by thousands of small family farmers within the Delta – including some of California’s oldest farming families who helped to build this state.
Over the last thirty years, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a once thriving ecosystem, has been in steady decline. One of the main causes of the Delta’s decline has been the excessive export of water to other areas in the state. A great deal of this water has been sent to large-scale corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and in Kern County. But this part of the story regarding the Delta’s decline is often overlooked by mainstream media.
Locally, here in Southern California, there are many potential programs and resources that can be put into place to increase our water supply reliability while reducing our dependence on water taken out of the Delta. At my home, I have installed catchment basins so that I can collect rain water each winter for reuse in my garden throughout the year. But we also need to support larger scale water conservation and recycling programs that will enable us to have the water that we need while protecting one of California’s most important ecosystems.
This is why I chose to narrate Restore the Delta’s new documentary, Over Troubled Waters. The story of the Delta as told by Delta locals is a must-see for all Californians. We need to know why this area is worthy of protection. It is a hidden treasure, and with enough water it is a place where fisheries and sustainable agriculture can thrive together once again.
Although we are only a rock band, CAKE is very concerned about the health of the largest estuary on the Pacific Coast of both North and South America — the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Having grown up and formed our band in Sacramento, California, where the American and Sacramento Rivers meet, we have witnessed the slow destruction of once-thriving ecosystems, and we know there needs to be grassroots commitment to making the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable. Without this kind of advocacy we believe it is highly likely that California will lose forever this amazing natural resource.
We strongly support the advocacy and outreach work of Restore the Delta. They are a coalition of Delta residents, business leaders, civic organizations, community groups, faith-based communities, union locals, farmers, fishermen, and environmentalists seeking to strengthen and protect the environmental and economic well-being of Delta communities. They advocate for water flows into the Delta so that fisheries and farming can thrive together.
Media Creations is currently finishing a documentary on the story of the Delta told by Delta people who work with the Restore the Delta Campaign. While the perennial fight over water in California has produced plenty of information about the concerns of corporate agribusiness, the stories of the Delta fishing and farming communities have been largely ignored. CAKE looks forward to the completion of this documentary because it finally gives the people of the Delta a chance to tell their stories.
The San Joaquin Delta is the most valuable and versatile water source in the Western United States, and we are blessed to call it home. The future of the Delta is now under threat, and I deeply appreciate Restore the Delta’s work to raise awareness of the challenges our Delta faces. By working together on efforts like this, we can make sure that the Delta remains a treasure now and forever.
Californians need to understand what’s at stake when we talk about altering the Delta. When we start tampering with something of that magnitude, we need to be clear about the consequences. It is the economic engine for an entire region and ecosystem for a wintering waterfowl population as well as the West Coast’s largest estuary. Let’s shed light on the beauty of the Delta and its value to the whole state.
Restore the Delta performs the unique function of educating the residents of San Joaquin County and the state about the pivotal role that the San Joaquin and Sacramento River Delta plays in our local and statewide economy. The Delta is more than a plumbing fixture. It is a vibrant and unique place. Restore the Delta tells that story.
Supervisors – San Joaquin County
We think that Restore the Delta’s documentary project is important to the City of Stockton because it reveals how taking water from the Delta harms our local economy. The people of California need to know that other regions cannot solve their problems by breaking the Delta.
Mayor – Stockton, CA
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is surrounded by the cities of California, but too many of their citizens know it not. It is more than a reservoir of water for growing agricultural needs and for thirsty urban dwellers. It contains heritage communities which preserve California’s past, family farms which produce specialty crops, and precious habitats which protect unique wildlife. Over Troubled Waters gives voice to the citizens who live in and around the Delta. They tell a story of missed opportunities and misguided policies. These perspectives deserve special attention and equal time as it is too easy for the messaging of big cities, big government, and big business to drown out such narratives. Listen up! This documentary presents the story of one of the world’s largest and most important delta regions distilled from the experiences of those who know these forgotten byways best, its residents.
Executive Director – Jacoby Center for Public Service & Civic Leadership, University of the Pacific
Past and recent studies show that Delta agriculture is a $4.5 billion annual economy. Without sufficient fresh water, agriculture will be in jeopardy as will the plethora of bountiful crops that provide food for us, the state, the country and world! Also lost for future generations will be many forms of wonderful wildlife.
Sadly, for over thirty years, too much water has been selfishly taken from the system, leading to the Delta’s present decline. But the Delta is a National Treasure and must be protected and enhanced!
With adequate water flows, fisheries will rebound, water quality will improve, and local family farms can continue to prosper and grow. This is why I support Restore the Delta’s documentary Over Troubled Waters.
The storytellers of this work recognize that the Delta is a land of agricultural prosperity that is essential to our economy, our lives, and home to a wonderful estuary.
Executive Director – Stockton Chamber of Commerce
This documentary is essential to understanding California’s most valuable resource, water.
While we usually take water entirely for granted, a small number of people and corporations are swimming in the money they collect at the expense of the rest of us.
See this documentary and find out what we have to gain or lose in the struggle for California’s water.
Co-Facilitator – Environmental Water Caucus
I was introduced to the Delta when I was two weeks old, and it has been a major part of me since that time. I live, work and recreate on this magnificent waterway. It’s who I am.
I’d love to see smart, nonbiased, or financially influenced people in charge of managing the most valuable resource in the state of California, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The fishing, farming and recreation communities CAN coexist and prosper, if corporate influences are taken out of the process. The Delta belongs to the people of this state, not a handful of individuals seeking HUGE profit from it.
The Delta cannot speak for itself, therefore Restore the Delta’s documentary is the only voice this river has to inform the public of the facts pertaining to her fate. Public awareness of the truth is the best way for the public to make an informed decision about the peripheral canal.
Delta Guide & Professional Fisherman
The California Delta Chambers & Visitor’s Bureau supports the film Over Troubled Waters and recommends it be viewed by all Californians. The Delta is a treasure in the northern part of the state that is under great pressure by water exporters who are causing its destruction. We want to prevent what happened to the Colorado River Delta, Owens (Dry) Lake, and Buena Vista Lake from happening here.
Executive Director – Delta Chambers & Visitor’s Bureau
Millions of people have heard of the California Delta but few know anything about it. Over Troubled Waters is a major step in educating people about this National Treasure and why we need to save it.
President – Sherman Island Duck Hunters Association
In Great Britain, late in the 18th century, Gilbert White, an obscure Hampshire country cleric, published a tiny book that became the fourth most popular ever produced in the English language. The first natural history written by an “amateur” it was in continuous publication for over 200 years. In his “Natural History of Selborne” White reminds us: ”…all nature is so full that that district produces its greatest variety which is the most examined.” Special interest groups, the politicians & technocrats beholden to them and altogether too many water policy makers view the Delta narrowly and almost exclusively for what they may take from it. The rest they’ve chosen to gloss over, minimize or ignore…and that’s assuming they even noticed it. Over Troubled Waters–by closely examining our Delta through the eyes of locals–underscores the less obvious wealth of the region. Over Troubled Waters vividly highlights the true riches of this matchless landscape–the treasure that is consistently ignored by the special interest players.
Delta Area Musician – Mom’s Chili Boys
Why should a jazz singer be concerned about the Delta? Because I choose to live here. I worry about water and the loss of our natural habitats. We cannot continue this way. That’s why I’m so excited and supportive of this excellent documentary. It will open minds and change opinions. It’s not just farmers, fishermen, and environmentalists who are concerned. Everybody in California should be paying attention to how we manage one of our most valuable resources – water.
Wendi Maxwell, jazz singer, proud Stockton resident, retired state employee, past president of Delta Sierra Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Area Jazz Singer