Stop The Canal

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Target: Secretary of the California Department of Natural Resources John Laird

Goal: To cancel the proposed peripheral canal project in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is the largest estuary on the Pacific Coast; not just for the United States but all of North and South America. This delta/estuary is formed along the western edge of the Central Valley near the city of Stockton where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers flow into Suisun Bay. At present this area is recognized for protection by the California Bays and Estuaries Policy.

Despite this area’s protected status, it is being threatened by the Peripheral Canal project, which has been proposed as a means of diverting water from the Sacramento River through or around the periphery of the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta. This project would transfer water to several different regions by way of the California Aqueduct, North Bay Aqueduct, South Bay Aqueduct, and the San Luis Canal. These aqueducts would serve to distribute the water throughout the central and southern reaches of the state.

This would however have disastrous implications for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region. The water within the estuary would become extremely saline, to the point that it could no longer support most plant life. This deterioration of the area’s water quality would serve to degrade the entire ecosystem of an important region.

The impact extends beyond the environmental implications, however. It would also prevent water from the Delta from ever meeting Clean Water Act standards. Drinking water quality, and in turn public health, would suffer tremendously from the harmful effects of this canal project.

This cannot be allowed to happen. For the sake of both public health and the fragile ecosystem of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, this project must be stopped.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Laird,

California is known for its natural splendor. From great mountains to scenic oceanic overlooks, it is a state that prides itself on caring for its environmental treasures. The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is one such ecological gem. Located along the western edge of the Central Valley where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers flow into Suisun Bay, this area is at present recognized for protection by the California Bays and Estuaries Policy.

Unfortunately, this state treasure is being threatened by legislation that is seeking to bring what is being called the Peripheral Canal Project into existence. This canal would transfer water to several different regions by way of the California Aqueduct, North Bay Aqueduct, South Bay Aqueduct, and the San Luis Canal. The purpose of diverting to these aqueducts would be to distribute the water throughout the central and southern reaches of the state.

Unfortunately the admirable desire to bring an added source of water distribution to these areas is misguided in its application as it could potentially destroy the delta. The water within the estuary would, by virtue of this project, become extremely saline. This would very likely reach the point where it is unable to support most plant life. This deterioration of the area’s water quality would ravage the entire ecosystem of this very important and supposedly protected region.

Beyond the environmental implications however the problems stemming from this project will also spill over into the arena of public health.This harm to the water table of the are would also prevent this area from ever meeting Clean Water Act standards. Drinking water quality, and in turn public health, would suffer tremendously from the harmful effects of this canal project.

With this in mind the Peripheral Canal Project cannot be allowed to continue. It would utterly destroy the fragile ecosystem within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, as well as become a public health concern.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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