Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta

The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta once encompassed 350,000 acres of freshwater tidal wetlands and habitat for a host of native species, including millions of salmon.  Today, the Delta is a critical part of the water supply infrastructure for over 25 million Californians and a multi-billion dollar agricultural industry in the San Joaquin Valley.

Destruction of wetland habitat by levees and the diversion of water to thirsty cities and farms, has caused a significant decline in many native species.  Today, major water diversions to support the state’s economy often conflict with efforts to protect salmon fisheries and endangered species in the Delta.

The Delta ecosystem and water supply system are unsustainable.   Failure of the region’s levees in an earthquake could flood cities and render the water supply useless for a period of months or years due to salinity intrusion.  Such a catastrophe could cost California’s economy over $30 billion, according to recent estimates.

American Rivers is working to protect and restore the Delta for fish, birds, and people, and to provide sufficient water supply for the people of California through a program of habitat restoration, flood management improvements, and changes to the way the system currently operates. 

Learn more about some of American Rivers’ key projects in the Delta: