Delta Blues Trailer

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

DVD Available

After a film festival run and educational sales window, Delta Blues is available for purchase here for $14.95.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Judge Assails Delta Smelt Scientists

Article from the New York Times about increasing criticism of scientists in the Interior Department, particularly two scientists involved with the Delta Smelt Biological Opinion.  Judge Oliver Wanger, who's  issued most of the crucial judicial opinions regarding the Delta and who is scheduled to retire next month, went after  two scientists in particular for their work on the Delta Smelt, reportedly calling them deceitful zealots.

Worth a read.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Selenium in the Delta and Bay

Good article (with useful charts) by Mike Taugher in the Contra Costa about the problem of selenium in the Delta and San Francisco Bay.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Federal judge disagrees on delta smelt plan

New ruling from Judge Wanger on salinity levels and the Delta Smelt. Two things not mentioned: Wanger - who's made most if not all significant rulings about Delta water flows and the ESA - is retiring. Also, no mention of the role of climate change in increasing salinity.

Here's the article from the Fresno Bee.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2010: A Record Year for Fresno County Agriculture

Despite the lingering impact of the drought, and widespread complaints about lack of water, particularly from west side farmers, Fresno County had a record year. Grapes and almonds are neck and neck for the leading crops and even cotton - seemingly dead as a viable crop in the Central Valley when I was filming Delta Blues - is making a comeback.

Tim Sheehan from the Fresno Bee has the story here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pacific Institute Report on the Recent CA Drought

The report, Impacts of the California Drought from 2007 to 2009:Surprising Outcomes for California's Agriculture, Energy, and Environment,  , analyzes the impact of the drought on the farming community, the environment and hydroelectric power. A quick read indicates that the impact on Central Valley Farming was less than expected, the impact on the environment (including the Delta region), was as bad or worse than most observers thought, and that Californians paid more for power because of the drought. 

Many of these issues are covered in Delta Blues (which is scheduled for release on DVD this summer), and Peter Gleick, the President of the Pacific Institute, is one of the primary characters in the documentary. 

Click on the link above for a copy of the full report or an executive summary.  

Friday, May 27, 2011

PBS Documentary on Salmon

Salmon: Running the Gauntlet, aired on PBS's Nature series a couple of weeks ago. It's a look at salmon troubles in the Columbia River Basin and the efforts to stop their steep decline. Nicely shot, with some terrific underwater footage, it touches on some of the politics of salmon, but not in great depth.

While many of the issues are similar to the ongoing problems in the Delta, there are also many key differences. In the Columbia Basin, it's more of a fight over dams impeding the salmon's journey upriver to their spawning grounds, while in the Delta it's a fight over adequate water flows, and not just for salmon.

You can watch the whole episode here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

BDCP Plan Blasted By Fed Panel

The Bay-Delta Conservation Plan was always a tough task - putting together environmentalists, government agencies and water users to come up with a comprehensive plan for the immense amount of water flowing through the Delta and utilized for agriculture and SoCal water supplies, not to mention the health of the Bay-Delta ecosystem.

The National Research Council slammed the effort yesterday, especially the BDCP's advocacy of a new "conveyance system," which means a peripheral canal or tunnel. California had close to record snowfall this past winter and some of the urgency has seeped out of efforts to fix the Delta, but this is a problem that won't go away and the longer the delay, the more it's going to cost and the more damage to all of the state's water users, human and otherwise.

Read more here from the SF Chron.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Interested in the BDCP?

This landed in my inbox. Note the live webcast link:

Natural Resources Secretary, John Laird, and Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, David J. Hayes, will gather with stakeholders and the public to discuss the challenges and process for meeting the BDCP's dual goals of ecosystem restoration and water supply reliability, and their commitment to completing a habitat conservation plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that achieves these goals.

Natural Resources Deputy Secretary, Dr. Jerry Meral, will provide an update on the BDCP since the November 18, 2010 Working Draft of the BDCP, the process for resolution of key features of the draft plan, and important environmental analysis needed before a final BDCP may be approved.
Monday, April 25, 2011
 Tsakopoulos Library Galleria
828 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
1:00 - 5:00pm

 Click here to view the agenda.
A live webcast of the meeting will be available at 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Delta Blues Shows at the Ocean Film Festival on Friday... 4pm at Theatre 39, next to the Aquarium by the Bay. Rumors of a Q&A to follow.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Delta Blues Screens Saturday at SF Green Film Festival

It shows at 2:30pm at Landmark Theatres Embarcadero Center Cinema 2 as part of the California Water program, followed by a panel discussion on salmon issues. Click the link for tix and more info.

Monday, February 14, 2011

SFGate: Delta fish may be too far gone to save, plan hints

A grim assessment.

Earlier : SFGate: First Delta Draft Out Today

From the article: "The preliminary plan is one of seven to be released this year by the Delta Stewardship Council, which has until Jan. 1 to finalize a comprehensive, 50-year plan for the estuary. The overarching goals are two-fold: revitalizing the delta's ecosystem while ensuring water for millions of Californians and some of the most fertile agricultural land in the world - a balance that has eluded policymakers for decades."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Delta Blues Screens at the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival

The festival runs March 9th to 13th.  Films will be screened at Theater 39, adjacent to the Aquarium of the Bay on Fishermen's Wharf. Check back for screening times. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

LA Times on the Delta Smelt

 A trip into the Delta with scientist Peter Moyle in search of the Delta Smelt. We filmed one of these research trips and an interview with Moyle for Delta Blues. On our day on the boat, the trawls brought up a nice haul of small stripers and split tail, but no Smelt. Moyle and his team hadn't seen one all year. We also filmed at the Smelt lab described in the piece.

See the Bay Area premiere of the film at the San Francisco Green Film Festival on March 5th. Click here for more details.