Of "oxygen sags" and Smelt slaughter

On a related note: despite claims from state officials that Delta smelt are no longer in the vicinity of the export pumps, DWR acknowledged it collected 327 smelt at the salvage facilities yesterday. The actual number of smelt killed is likely 30 times that number. -- Bill Jennings, CSPA Executive Director, June 29, 2007

Meanwhile, Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Shrimp Slayer-Merced, continues to deny he is a Nancy Boy and fiddles with the controls on his home solar system while the Delta Smelt goes extinct for subsidized cotton.

Cardoza is about as "independent" of special interests as Strom Thurmond, as "moderate" as the Boll Weevil Democrats of 1948, and as "conservative" as the cotton and dairy subsidies in the next Farm Bill.

Come to think of it, the "political science" out of the Shrimp Slayer's office is as weird as fish biology of Los Banos. It makes you wonder if there isn't a huge oxygen sag that envelopes the entire entourage of the Valley's rich and famous.

Badlands editorial staff

California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
“An Advocate for Fisheries, Habitat and Water Quality”
3536 Rainier Avenue, Stockton, CA 95204
Tel: 209-464-5067, Fax: 209-464-1028, E: deltakeep@aol.com
For immediate release:
28 June 2007
For information:
Bill Jennings, CSPA Executive Director, 209-464-5067, 209-938-9053 (cell)
State and Federal Export Pumps Trigger Massive Killing Zone in Delta at Stockton

(Stockton, CA) Resumption of massive water exports from the Delta by the State Water Projec (SWP) and federal Central Valley Project (CVP) has caused a massive killing zone of low dissolved oxygen to develop in the San Joaquin River at Stockton California. Adequate levels of dissolved oxygen are crucial for the survival of aquatic life. When the Central Valley and State
Water Project (CVP/SWP) export pumping was ramped up (from 850 cfs to 4,500-5,200 cfs) following a brief closure to protect Delta smelt, the majority of water flowing down the San Joaquin was siphoned across Old River to the pumps. Flows in the San Joaquin River near the Port of Stockton (Port) dropped from over 1,000 cfs to as low as 98 cfs (Friday, June 22) and
minus 6 cfs (Wednesday, June 27). In other words, the giant CVP/SWP reversed the flow of the San Joaquin River on June 27. As a result, dissolved oxygen in a 3-5 mile reach of the river, as measured by the Department of Water Resource’s (DWR) real-time monitoring gage at the Port, plummeted to as low as 1.8 mg/L (June 25, and considerably less at depth), which is far below
the water quality standard of 5 mg/L. Significant direct mortality to fish and other aquatic life occurs at these levels.

“Here is yet another painful example of the harmful effects of the excessive export of water from the Delta and the blatant failure by regulatory and resource agencies to enforce the law to address long-standing violations that are cumulatively causing the disintegration of the Delta’s biological tapestry,” said Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. “The Delta is dying because political pressure is preventing agencies charged with protecting the estuary from complying with their statutory mandates,” he said.

Oxygen sags in the Deep Water Channel at the Port occur when algae, fueled by nutrients discharged by upstream farms, encounter the deeper slower-moving water in the ship channel and die, exerting an oxygen demand. However, oxygen sags, which have been observed ever since the CVP/SWP began operation, do not occur whenever San Joaquin River flows are above
900 cfs at Stockton.

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board developed a TMDL, through a 6-year stakeholder driven process, to address the problem. The causes of oxygen depletion in the San Joaquin River were identified as reduced flow, discharge of agricultural pollutants and the deepening of the channel to accommodate ships at the Port. However, the Regional Board bowed to political pressure and no meaningful control measures were required, excepting more publicly funded studies and a publicly funded small demonstration aerator project. Meanwhile, aquatic life in the river continues to perish whenever the CVP/SWP pumps siphon off the majority
of water flowing down the San Joaquin River.

Cardoza objects to story...Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced...Letters to the editor

I am writing to set the record straight about my role on the House Rules Committee in response to Saturday's article by Sun-Star Washington Reporter Michael Doyle. The overall tone of the piece suggested that I agree with Democratic leadership 100 percent of the time. While I am proud to be a Democrat, I don't agree with anyone 100 percent of the time and I will continue to put the interests of my district before party politics. It is important for me to address misrepresentations in the article because my seat at the leadership table has enhanced the position of moderates and conservatives in the Caucus, not undermined them. My moderate and independent views have not changed.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Sun-Star asked Jamie McInerney, Cardoza's press secretary, to clarify what was misrepresented in the story. He responded that he felt the story should not have termed Cardoza a "lieutenant" of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He listed no other misrepresentations.
The Sun-Star stands behind the accuracy of the story and feels it contained no misrepresentation.