Entries for tag "nature"

Topics

Washouts

Catastrophic levee failure is a fact of life in the Delta.

The map shows the location of “scour ponds,”…

Posted by John Bass on 05/23 at 12:51 AM • #

Staten Island

Like many other areas in the Delta, Staten Island farmers have a long tradition of flooding their already harvested fields…

Posted by dnpadmin on 05/23 at 12:44 AM • #

Setback Levee

A setback levee is an example of political consensus embodied in the performance of a hybrid form—reflecting the value of…

Posted by dnpadmin on 05/23 at 12:20 AM • #

Flood History

One of the consequences of Delta reclamation is that the land created there is subject to the threat of flooding.…

Posted by dnpadmin on 05/22 at 11:31 PM • #

Delta Wetlands Project

The Delta Wetlands Project is an example of successful consensus-building achieved through hybrid form.

The DWP is a…

Tags: nature, water
Posted by dnpadmin on 05/22 at 11:27 PM • #

Delta Watershed

The Central Valley’s watershed covers 62,500 square miles, the area of New England, and extends from Mount Shasta in the…

Posted by dnpadmin on 05/22 at 11:26 PM • #

Confused Fish

Diagram describing the altered movement of fish in the Delta.

Fish confused by the pull of the water project…

Posted by dnpadmin on 05/22 at 11:11 PM • #

Images

Jones Tract flood

Jones Tract flood

View of Jones Tract flood, taken several months after flood occurred. They were still pumping.

Fishing in a flooded island

Fishing in a flooded island

Fishermen within what was once Mildred Island, lost to a levee breach years ago and never reclaimed by its owners. There are several flooded islands in the Delta, most notably Franks Tract, which is now a state park.

Crawdad in an Isleton market

Crawdad in an Isleton market

Crawdad in an Isleton market.

Channel island refuge

Channel island refuge

Accessible only by boat, many channel islands of the Delta, like this one at the head of the Delta-Mendota Canal intake, have been transformed into little private oases within the web of waterways and horizontal expanse of farm fields. Given that they are barely higher than the water that surrounds them, it is inevitable that climate change will claim them all as Delta waters rise.

Crop circles on Venice Island

Crop circles on Venice Island

My brother Adam brought this interesting and curiosity-piquing place to my attention. Is this strange configuration a message being sent to outer space, or explained by more earthbound practices? Please help solve the mystery!

Five Fingers

Five Fingers

The riparian landscape of Five Fingers, a channel island, makes it prized place among Delta boaters. But the island is gradually disappearing, the victim of rising waters and wave erosion, and will one day be inundated.

Striped bass

Striped bass

Striped bass were introduced into the Delta in the 19th century. They are prized among Delta sportfishing enthusiasts, earning them naturalized Delta citizenship, despite making endangered fish their prey. Delta populations have declined in recent years, suggesting that they are likely susceptible to ecosystem degradation.

Atlantic ribbed mussel

Atlantic ribbed mussel

The Atlantic ribbed mussel is a non-native species found in Central Californian estuaries. It has been known to kill clapper rails, an endangered bird species, by clamping down on the bird’s beak or feet as it forages for food in tidal flats.

Borrow pit, eastern edge of Delta

Borrow pit, eastern edge of Delta

This is one of several “borrow pits” that were created during the construction of Interstate 5. Many have developed substantial riparian habitats.

Possible peripheral canal route?

Possible peripheral canal route?

Purely a speculative diagram, this route would take economic advantage of a number of “borrow pits,” so-called because they were created to provide fill for the construction of I-5. The pits are similar in dimension to the proposed “isolated conveyance facility.” Most are now riparian habitats, and some are protected wildlife preserves. The diagram also shows how the siphon infrastructure at intersecting rivers and sloughs could be designed to “freshen” the Delta’s waterways, improving Delta water quality and ecosystem health.

Scour ponds

Scour ponds

Diagram locating the flood events that remain visible from aerial examination. In many cases, these events continue to mark the landscape in the form of “washout gardens.”

Bird tracker, Staten Island

Bird tracker, Staten Island

Bird tracking vehicle monitoring foraging Sandhill Cranes on Staten Island.

Scour pond, Webb Tract

Scour pond, Webb Tract

Scour pond on Webb Tract. There are dozens of scour ponds in the Delta, each marking the site of a levee breach.

Jones Tract levee breach

Jones Tract levee breach

2004 Jones Tract levee breach that led to the flooding of thousands of acres of farmland.

Zebra mussel cart

Zebra mussel cart

Water Hyacinth, Trapper Slough

Water Hyacinth, Trapper Slough

Water hyacinth was introduced to the Delta as an ornamental plant. It is aggressive, and has filled or partially filled several sloughs, making them impassable. The dense, mat-like cover also cuts off sunlight to the water below, affecting plants and animals living there.

Water above land

Water above land

Photograph showing the typical, inverted relationship between land and water in the Delta.

Tree at water’s edge

Tree at water’s edge

This image is an effective illustration of subsidence.

Tree and barge

Tree and barge

Another illustration of subsidence.

Terminous Tract, past and future history

Terminous Tract, past and future history

Diagram showing the past, present and future uses/products of Terminous Tract. Past to future, they are: estuary, asparagus, wheat, sod, habitat, and water.

Sprinkler Guys

Sprinkler Guys

Sod production on Terminous Tract.

South Delta section of Levee Urbanism

South Delta section of Levee Urbanism

This cross section diagram describes the various components of Levee Urbanism in the South Delta. Channel making would increase water carrying capacity and water frontage for property development, a potential source of significant value for local landowners, and create habitat that would be managed by property owners.

Migrating Geese

Migrating Geese

The Delta is on the Pacific Flyway, which runs from Alaska to South America.

Lower Delta topography

Lower Delta topography

The topography of Mandeville and Bacon Islands and Holland Tract, to -20’ below sea level. Darker color represents lower elevation.

Levee Urbanism constituents

Levee Urbanism constituents

Groups whose interests converge in Levee Urbanism.

Levee Section Diagram - Land, Levee and Water

Levee Section Diagram - Land, Levee and Water

This photomontage describes the predicament that the Delta’s physical form puts those who are responsible for its future. Note the height of the land relative to the water.

Large Owner Axis Topography

Large Owner Axis Topography

Most of the Large Owner Axis land is below sea level. Note how the middle of the Axis is lowest in elevation.

Jones Tract flood access issues

Jones Tract flood access issues

View of Jones Tract flood, looking toward the flooded Bacon Island Road, which provides the only road access to Bacon Island.

Jones Tract flood

Jones Tract flood

Photograph showing the extent of the 2004 Jones Tract flood, which covered 10,000 acres.

Invasive Species

Invasive Species

Diagram showing water systems surrounding and within the delta islands. Farmers must pump constantly to maintain optimal water levels in their fields. The electricity required to power the pumps is expensive, and is making the Delta increasingly unable to compete in the global market for agricultural products.

Flooded field, Bacon Island

Flooded field, Bacon Island

When their fields are fallow, farmers often allow their fields to take on some water. This keeps the ground from subsiding and allows migrating birds to forage.

Drainage ditch, Grand Island

Drainage ditch, Grand Island

A primary drainage ditch on Grand Island. In the north Delta most ditches serve as habitat. In the south Delta, many ditches are concrete-lined, and serve no environmental purpose. Without a drainage regimen, Delta islands would be inundated.

Delta Wetlands Project, Bouldin Island artificial habitats

Delta Wetlands Project, Bouldin Island artificial habitats

Manipulating the ground plane is the primary means through which the Delta Wetlands Project will construct diverse habitats.

Delta watershed

Delta watershed

The entire central valley drains into the Delta.

Delta Wetlands Project, Bouldin Island artificial habitat

Delta Wetlands Project, Bouldin Island artificial habitat

Diagrams produced by Delta Wetlands Project showing the zones of artificially created habitats they would construct to mitigate the water development project.

Delta Topography

Delta Topography

Darker colors indicate lower elevation to -15’ below sea level.

Delta Meadows view

Delta Meadows view

Behind Locke is Delta Meadows, a favorite spot for boaters. it is one of the few unreclaimed areas in the Delta.

Delta flood occurrence since 1900

Delta flood occurrence since 1900

Delta flood history

Delta flood history

Diagram describing the history of delta island floods. Darker gray represents more flood events, with a maximum number of nine.

Confused fish

Confused fish

Diagram describing how fish confused by the pull of State and Federal Water Project pumping are captured and trucked back to a part of the Delta where downstream is not affected by pumps.

Channel Island Resort

Channel Island Resort

Channel islands are small islands that did not get reclaimed during the levee-building era. Most are privately owned, and many are resorts, camps, or yacht clubs. Their presence in the Delta’s waterways make the most significant contribution to the Delta’s picturesque qualities. They are also at the very least threatened by the implications of climate change.

Captured Sloughs

Captured Sloughs

During the historical period of reclamation, land development companies often filled in waterways to create larger tracts of land. Many of these can clearly be seen in aerial photographs.

CALFED Staten Island setbacks proposal - ‘choke point 1’

CALFED Staten Island setbacks proposal - ‘choke point 1’

CALFED proposal to reengineer levees around the top of Staten Island, a notorious Delta ‘choke point.’

Borrow Pit Exchange Authority

Borrow Pit Exchange Authority

Diagram of the Borrow Pit Exchange Authority along I-5. Borrow pits were dug to provide fill for the I-5 roadbed. The pits filled with water and developed riparian habitat. Some are now wildlife preserves. The pits may come back into focus as their locations approximate the proposed Peripheral Canal location.

Bacon Island building subsidence story

Bacon Island building subsidence story

Drawing describing the functional and material consequences of subsidence on a building at Bacon Island farm camp number three.

A crane in the fields

A crane in the fields

cranes and other migrating birds pass through the delta, which is on the pacific flyway. in the winter, many farmers flood their fields, making the delta more attractive to birds, birdwatchers, and hunters

Video

Fish salvage efforts after floodFish salvage efforts after flood

Other