Sacramento River

Lisa Morehouse

Water is the defining feature of the Delta, and recreation on the water is a big part of the economy and culture of this place. There are about 8 million visits to the Delta each year for activities like fishing, wind-surfing, water-skiing, and house-boating. The population just outside the Delta interior has grown significantly over the last 20 years, so it would make sense that the boating and fishing industries would have grown a lot, too. But they haven’t.

Navigating the Delta: The Roots of Agriculture

May 26, 2015
Lisa Morehouse

Major California rivers drain into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and over decades of building dams and reservoirs and pumps, it’s become the major hub of the state’s water system. It’s not just the water flow that’s been transformed here, however. This land used to be made up of tidal wetlands and marshes of tullies. Today, there are nearly 60 islands surrounded by levees. Most of the land here is used for farming, and it’s some of the richest farmland in the state.

Tony George

Pretend you’re looking at a map of the Bay Area. Now scroll out a little bit. Find Martinez and Benicia, and draw a line east to Stockton. From there, go north to Sacramento, then back to Martinez. Look closely at that triangle, and you will see a puzzle of waterways and islands that make up the California Delta.