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Comparing Futures for the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta$
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Jay Lund

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520261976

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520261976.001.0001

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The Legacies of Delta History

The Legacies of Delta History

(p.16) (p.17) 2 The Legacies of Delta History
Comparing Futures for the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta

Jay R. Lund

Ellen Hanak

William E. Fleenor

William A. Bennett

Richard E. Howitt

Jeffrey F. Mount

Peter B. Moyle

University of California Press

The European settlement in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta resulted in the transformation of forested areas and vegetation into agricultural sites and urban communities. Vast areas of tidal wetlands were converted into farmlands surrounded by levees. This chapter presents the history and foundations of the modern delta economy. It describes the geologic and institutional factors that brought the Delta to its current state. The chapter also discusses the reclamation of Delta lands and efforts to provide solutions to the Delta's problems, such as levee construction, flood control, expansion of shipping channels, upstream mining activities, and salinity intrusion. It also highlights the first major public works project in the Delta—the Central Valley flood control system. The chapter concludes with several policy initiatives for developing sustainable solutions to Delta problems.

Keywords:   Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, levees, reclamation, levee construction, flood control, shipping channels, upstream mining, salinity intrusion, Central Valley flood control system

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