The Delta

The Delta is a productive agricultural region with an increasingly uncertain future.

Located just east of and draining into San Francisco Bay, it was once a vast freshwater tidal estuary, and was reclaimed for farming in the 19th century. Since then, the land contained within its roughly 1200 miles of levees has subsided at a rate of 3 inches per year.

Today, much of the Delta is 20 to 30 feet below the level of the surrounding rivers. The levees protect the land they enclose and a vital water supply for Southern and Central California, regions making growing demands on the Delta’s water.

Federal and state agencies subsidize maintenance of critical levees, perhaps 30% of the total. The rest are private levees, whose landowners struggle to maintain them in the face of a globalizing agriculture market and other place-specific economic pressures. Infrastructural planning currently underway is an acknowledgement that the current levee maintenance situation is unsustainable.

Posted by dnpadmin on 05/23 at 12:47 AM • #


Delta Tours and Exchange Authorities

Delta Tours and Exchange Authorities

Diagram describing tourist itineraries, landmark locations, and the exchange authorities of the Delta National Park.


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