May 5, 2011
English 1A 9:30-11 AM
Imagine the San Joaquin Valley without the Delta river flowing through it. This picture may not seem threatening or bad in anyway. So what some might say there is more water such as the lakes and ocean. Taking the time to think about this image of a waterless valley in more detail is when the true effects may come to mind. Without the water that is provided from the Delta the agricultural industry that the valley is known for may now be nonexistent. If the valley was without the business of agriculture many of the cities here may have never been formed or inhabited. In reality without the Delta which flows through the vast majority of the valley, this place that we call home may be nothing but a dry hot spec of California without the potential necessary to draw people to live in it. Luckily this is not the case.
For the people of the San Joaquin Valley and Stockton in particular the Delta waterways play a roll no matter how miniscule in almost everyone’s lives. The Delta is used as a place of gathering here in the valley. The delta is ritteled with beaches, picnic areas, and camping grounds which attract many families of the valley. Boating and other recreational water sports are popular in the delta because of the convenience of it being in close proximity to many of our cities. Besides being used by humans it is the home to many species of animals that inhabit the shorelines and water. This makes the Delta the perfect place for fishers of the valley to come and entertain themselves in their sport.
Even though when looked at the Delta may seem to be an example of nature at its finest and can appear to be thriving, it is not. The truth is that with the development of housing and industrialization of the valley from a mainly farm based area to highly populated cities the health of the delta has never been worse. Pollution of the waterways is getting the best of the river and we can now see the results of the problem at hand. The many contributing pollutants affecting the Delta are jeopardizing the river being able to be used for recreational purposes, the species that live in it, and the future of the surrounding areas.
When it comes to recreational water sports few places in our area come close to providing the environment that the Delta has. Water skiing, wakeboarding, knee boarding, jetsking, and boating are popular past times especially in the summer months. With our average temperature rising to the high 90’s and even 100’s the Delta is the perfect escape for any family looking to enjoy a fun filled day on the water. In the book Delta Wildlife Habitat Protection & Restoration Plan by the California Department of Fish & Game/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service it says” It [the Delta] contains one of the largest recreational waterway complexes in the western united states” (DWHPRP). Because the Delta is so vast and stretches throughout many counties and cities it is an ideal place for anyone looking to get on the water.
The pollution of the Delta is now threatening the very things that we use it for. When it comes to all the different pollutants affecting the Delta people may look to blame agricultural businesses, housing development and construction, and sewage run off. While all these are legitimate pollutants that are affecting the Delta, we must also look at what the people that use the Delta may be doing to harm it. In an article written by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) its stated that “Water pollution from boating and marinas is linked to several sources. They include poorly flushed waterways, boat maintenance, discharge of sewage from boats, storm water runoff from marina parking lots, and the physical alteration of shoreline, wetlands, and aquatic habitat during the construction and operation of marinas.” (EPA). These things all add to the rising pollution in the Delta and are mainly caused either by accident or...