DWR Response to Harmful Algal Blooms Lacking, says Restore the Delta

For Immediate Release: 1/31/22
Contact: Spencer Fern, Restore the Delta, (209) 639-0077, spencer@restorethedelta.org

Stockton, CA – A recent California State Department of Water Resources presentation on Harmful Algal Blooms in the Bay-Delta has garnered a strong response from Stockton-based, Restore the Delta.

The comment letter intends to correct the record with the State Water Resources Control Board regarding the Department of Water Resources’ report regarding harmful algal blooms which DWR presented to the Board in January. 

Among the key findings:

•DWR does not adequately acknowledge impact of drought barrier on HABs formation in the heart of the estuary–Frank’s Tract.

• DWR does not acknowledge data collected by State Water Boards revealing high levels of cyanotoxins from HABs in urban areas and high-traffic recreation areas over the last few years.

• DWR seeks to prioritize one cause of deteriorating water conditions over other causes, rather than examining thoroughly how multiple factors lead to the creation of HABs.

• DWR essentially complained that working on monitoring HABs breakouts would be a never-ending endeavor — rather than setting up full tracking and working to eliminate the causes with other government agencies.

Spencer Fern, Delta Science coordinator for Restore the Delta said of the letter, “The California Department of Water Resources is dismissing the larger impacts on harmful algal bloom in the outbreaks in the Bay-Delta. State agencies must acknowledge these impacts to strive for a healthier Delta.”
“It is time for the Department of Water Resources to get serious about solving basic water quality challenges in the Delta that are exacerbated by lack of flow, too high of a volume of water exports, and their projects, including drought barriers,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director, Restore the Delta.
Read the full letter here.

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