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Media Advisory

Delta Initiative experts to present report

12 March 2007

ATTENTION: Environmental, political, science and land use writers and editors

Contact: Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations
(510) 643-5651 kmaclay@berkeley.edu

A news conference this Thursday by University of California, Berkeley's Delta Initiative experts to release a report, "Re-envisioning the Delta: Alternative Futures for the Heart of California".

The report focuses on urbanization pressure around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that poses major challenges for the Delta's sustainability. Though the state's attention remains focused on water supply, flood control and ecosystem management, "very rapid urbanization in the Delta threatens California's ability to protect all of these other values," according to Bill Eisenstein, director of the Delta Initiative.

The team will also testify the same day before a joint hearing of the California Legislature on these topics, and on UC Berkeley's process to envision a sustainable delta land use pattern 50 years from now.

News conference - 1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 15, Room 317, State Capitol, Sacramento

Testimony - 10 a.m., Thursday, March 15, Room 4202, State Capitol

Matt Kondolf, UC Berkeley professor of environmental planning; Bill Eisenstein, director of the Delta Initiative; John Cain, director of restoration programs for the Natural Heritage Institute' and Assemblywoman Lois Wolk, D-Davis, chair of the Assembly's Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.

The report contains the first Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta "urbanization risk map" showing potential development that would place tens of thousands of people and houses in the path of floods, harm Delta water quality, reduce flood protection for existing urbanized areas, increase flood risks in the central Delta, and reduce long-term management flexibility in the Delta ecosystem.

The team's testimony is summarized in a report, "The Great Delta Charrette." The charrette was an event last October that brought together Delta experts to create four visions of land use patterns to make the Delta resilient to earthquakes, floods and climate change. A follow-up charrette will be held in May as part of the state's recently launched Delta Vision process.

Thursday's hearing will be convened by the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxics Committee, the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. The Delta Initiative is a research and planning effort to understand regional and statewide consequences of Delta urbanization, and to explore alternatives. More information is online at: http://landscape.ced.berkeley.edu/~delta.


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