BLOG ROUND-UP: Death on the Delta, David Bernhardt, cascading levee failures, striped bass, women in water, and more …

blog-round-up-previous-editionsDeath on the Delta: According to one of the regular bass fishermen in the area “it smells almost like an over-chlorinated swimming pool.’’  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “The article below (Death on the Delta puzzles fishing community, state officials) tells the story of how “the Delta reeks of rotting wildlife, dead fish and powerful chemicals.”  According to one of the regular bass fishermen in the area “it smells almost like an over-chlorinated swimming pool.’’  He also believes “that what he and others are smelling are pesticides sprayed on the Delta by California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways to combat out-of-control grasses and plants.”  The state admits this is true. … ”  Continue reading from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Death on the Delta

Who Is David Bernhardt? (And Why Every Environmentalist Should Care.): Jeff Turrentine writes, “Navy SEALS are known for their incredible endurance and superior ability to get out of tough, high-stakes situations. But ex-SEAL Ryan Zinke, our current secretary of the Interior, likely won’t be able to climb, jump, swim, or rappel his way out of the ethics mess he’s gotten himself into.  If the rumors are true and Zinke’s days in the Trump administration are numbered (rumors that President Trump isn’t doing much to dispel), then Americans who care about the future of our national parks, national monuments, and other public lands should get to know his replacement. Meet David Bernhardt, the Interior Department’s current deputy secretary, whose long Washington résumé suggests that he would happily continue to carry out the Trump administration’s war on public lands and federal waters—albeit with greater legal sophistication and fewer unforced ethical errors than his predecessor. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  Who Is David Bernhardt? (And Why Every Environmentalist Should Care.)

Striped bass in the San Francisco Estuary: Insight Into a Forgotten Past:  Dylan Stompe and Peter Moyle write, “Striped bass are well known throughout California as a hard-fighting game fish, excellent table fare, and a voracious predator on other fish. Striped bass were introduced into the San Francisco Estuary in 1879 and are often cited as a major cause of native species decline. Historically they were valued as a strong indicator of estuary health, as well as a very important game fish. In fact, key ecological monitoring programs in the estuary were established in the 1950s and 60s to keep track of striped bass populations. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Striped bass in the San Francisco Estuary: Insight Into a Forgotten Past

When the Levee Breaks: Cascading failures in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, California: Jason R. Patton, Ph.D., Ross Stein, Ph.D., and Volkan Sevilgen, M.Sc. write, “The state of California provides a substantial proportion of food for our country and other nations. Because of this agribusiness history in the state, water rights have been a durable [recurrent] topic in the politics of the state and the western US.  Competing interests for the limited water resources have resulted in dramatic debate about the management of the Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta. Islands and agricultural land in this region were protected by flooding by the installation of levees. Levees are artificial stream banks, designed to prevent flooding the islands and the land adjacent to the river. The islands are composed of peat, and once the levees prevented seasonal flooding, the peat began to outgas and compact. So, today the islands are over 15 ft below the river level, which is at sea level. In fact, the islands are like empty bowls with their rims just above the river level. If the levees are breached in even a modest earthquake, the river water would rush in to flood the islands. … ”  Read more from Temblor here:  When the Levee Breaks: Cascading failures in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, California

Central Valley Spring Run Salmon – Record Low Run: Tom Cannon writes, “In a 10/31/17 post, I described record low spring-run Chinook salmon runs in Sacramento Valley rivers in 2017, with emphasis on the Feather River, the largest component of the Central Valley spring-run population. In this post, I update information on Central Valley spring-run. The combined Central Valley runs of spring Chinook salmon were indeed at record low levels in 2017 (Figure 1). The run total includes escapement to all Central Valley streams that host spring-run salmon, including Battle Creek, Clear Creek, Butte Creek, Antelope Creek, Big Chico Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Mill Creek, Deer Creek, Antelope Creek, Feather River-Yuba River, and the mainstem Sacramento River. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  Central Valley Spring Run Salmon – Record Low Run

Fall run salmon spawn 2018:  Tom Cannon writes, “In a past May 2018 post I described how fall-run salmon redd dewatering was a key factor in the poor wild salmon production in the Sacramento River during the two prominent salmon population crashes in the past decade. This problem is again occurring in fall 2018 (Figures 1-3). The close to 50% drop in flow releases from Shasta Dam since late October and the corresponding 2-to-3 foot drop in water level is causing redd stranding of spring-run and fall-run salmon in the spawning grounds of the Sacramento River below Shasta. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here:  Fall run salmon spawn 2018

It’s not just Congress: More women are working in the water sector, too: Christina Babbitt writes, “A week before voters elected a record number of women into Congress, I found myself attending my first water conference without a single man in the room.  It was the 2018 California H20 Women Conference, and it was unlike any other women’s leadership event I have ever attended.  The focus wasn’t on mentoring, work-life balance or leaning in. Rather, the content was gender-agnostic, addressing the most timely water issues in California today, including Sustainable Groundwater Management Act-driven solutions, the business of water, water recycling and use, and technology and innovation. … ”  Read more from the EDF Growing Returns blog here:  It’s not just Congress: More women are working in the water sector, too

Q&A with Sarah Diringer: A Multi-benefits Approach to Water Management:  Rebecca Olson sat down with Pacific Institute Senior Researcher Dr. Sarah Diringer to talk about the challenges and promises of a multiple benefits approach to water management. “Rebecca Olson: Tell me about the work you are doing at the Pacific Institute on developing a comprehensive framework to evaluate multiple benefits of water investment strategies.  Sarah Diringer: There is broad recognition that we need to invest in our man-made water systems and our natural environment in order to adapt to climate change, address population growth, and update our aging infrastructure. … ”  Continue reading at the Pacific Institute here:  Q&A with Sarah Diringer: A Multi-benefits Approach to Water Management

Happy blog birthday to Inkstain: 20 years and 5,767 posts on, a thank you note to Inkstain readers:Thanks, y’all, for 20 years of stopping by to read stuff here.  There’s a game we used to play back in the day called “googlewhack”. It involved searching for a two-word phrase that was unique – that had never before been catalogued in Google’s even-then-vast archive of humanity’s digital use of written language. We’d stick it in a blog post, claiming the phrase, and revel in the strange wonder of the diversity of language. … ”  Continue reading at the Inkstain blog here:  Happy blog birthday to InkstainDaily emails

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About the Blog Round-up: The Blog Round-up is a weekly journey through the wild and varied tapestry of blog commentary, incorporating the good, the bad, the ugly, and sometimes just plain bizarre viewpoints existing on the internet. Viewpoints expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily my own; inclusion of items here does not imply my endorsement of their positions. Items are chosen to express a wide range of viewpoints, and are added at the editor’s discretion. While posts with obvious factual errors are excluded, please note that no attempt is made on my part to verify or fact check the information bloggers present, so caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.

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