Topic: San Joaquin River Restoration

Overview

San Joaquin River Restoration

The San Joaquin River drains California’s Central Valley, but has been negatively impacted by dam construction, poor streamflows, and poor water quality.

Formerly home to the nation’s largest spring-run of Chinook salmon, the river was dammed in 1942 to provide water to farms and cities in the San Joaquin Valley.

In the 1980s, environmental organizations including the Natural Resources Defense Council filed suit to restore water flows to a 60-mile dry stretch of river and to boost the dwindling salmon populations. The lawsuit was settled in 2006.

The San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement’s goals were to refill the 60-miles of dry river bed and salmon runs while minimizing water supply impacts to farmers. Congressional action set the plan in motion.

Water releases are now used to restore the river and to provide habitat for naturally reproducing populations of self-sustaining Chinook salmon and other fish. Long-term efforts also include measures to reduce or avoid adverse water supply impacts from the restoration flows.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Major California river adding key ingredient: water

A decade ago, environmentalists and the federal government agreed to revive a 150-mile stretch of California’s second-longest river, an ambitious effort aimed at allowing salmon again to swim up to the Sierra Nevada foothills to spawn.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: House Republicans reopen the bidding on California water bill

House Republicans intent on storing more California water and redirecting it to farms have resurrected some familiar and controversial ideas, this time as part of a must-pass spending bill.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio NPR for Central California

Despite drought, government to release water for San Joaquin River Restoration

Despite promises that El Niño storms will not bring an end to California’s drought, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Friday that it will begin releasing more water into the San Joaquin River.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: If you’re 26, these California water disputes have lasted longer than you’ve been alive

The now-distant December of 1988 was a big month for California water lawsuits that would last a generation and eventually land in Congress’ lap, where their ripples linger to this day.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

San Joaquin River revival pushes deadlines back

Years late, the first major project of the San Joaquin River restoration is closer to liftoff with a $326 million price tag and a load of political baggage. … The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation this month is unveiling plans and seeking public comment.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Drought doesn’t stop nation’s most ambitious salmon revival in San Joaquin River

Young salmon glide through shallow riffles in the San Joaquin River, not far from busy shopping centers, swift Fresno traffic and a golf course.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma Land Trust taps Fresno conservation leader for director post

Dave Koehler, who hails from Fresno, where he fought to protect the San Joaquin River, has been named executive director of Sonoma Land Trust, the Santa Rosa-based nonprofit organization.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Wildlife officials take steps to restore largest salmon run in California (with audio)

As part of the San Joaquin River restoration project, wildlife agencies will release 54,000 hatchery-produced juvenile sprin-run Chinook salmon.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: Young salmon readied for release into San Joaquin River

Biologists on Wednesday placed 54,000 young salmon into the San Joaquin River near Friant Dam, acclimating the fish to the river in hopes of having them return to spawn in a few years.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: Looking to where San Joaquin River died in 1960s

In the chilly January fog, Bee photographer John Walker and I last week stood at a spot where the San Joaquin River died in the 1960s — the Sand Slough Control Structure in Merced County. We were researching the river restoration story that published in Sunday’s Bee.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard

Blog: San Joaquin River Access Guide — A portal for recreation and discovery

For more than 15 years I have lived within a mile of the San Francisco Bay. However it recently dawned on me that I had never actually spent any time on the water exploring this place where Central Valley Rivers and the Pacific Ocean ebb and flow. … For that reason, I am excited by the launch of the San Joaquin River Access Guide, available at SJRiver.org.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard

Blog: Rejuvenation and celebration — The return of San Joaquin Fall-Run Chinook Salmon

The peace and quiet of the moment is suddenly broken by a splash in the middle of the river. It’s the sound of fall run Chinook salmon returning to the San Joaquin, bringing with them the foundation for new life and a cause for celebration.

San Joaquin River Restoration Tour 2014
Field Trip (past)

The 2014 Tour took place November 6-7.

This 2-day, 1-night tour explores challenges associated with restoring flows and a Chinook salmon fishery to the San Joaquin River from below Friant Dam to the confluence with the Merced River.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Still time to catch the San Joaquin River Tour bus

A few seats remain for the Foundation’s Nov. 6-7 San Joaquin River Restoration Tour. This two-day, one-night tour offers you the opportunity to learn the latest about one of the largest river restoration projects in the nation. The tour starts and ends in Fresno.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Register today for San Joaquin River Restoration Tour

Join us on the Nov. 6-7 San Joaquin River Restoration Tour that will explore the challenges associated with restoration of the San Joaquin River, a program that is the result of a legal settlement. See firsthand the progress being made and discuss the current conflicts so you can better understand the coordination taking place to implement one of the largest river restoration projects in the nation. The two-day, one-night tour starts and ends in Fresno.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

A legal giant steps down

No longer will Lawrence K. Karlton’s roar be heard reverberating through the spacious 15th-floor courtroom at 5th and I Streets where he presided. … First, it’s important to understand that the environment is one of Karlton’s favorite areas of the law, especially its place in the California water wars.

Video

Restoring a River: Voices of the San Joaquin

This 30-minute documentary-style DVD on the history and current state of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program includes an overview of the geography and history of the river, historical and current water delivery and uses, the genesis and timeline of the 1988 lawsuit, how the settlement was reached and what was agreed to.

Video

A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.

Maps & Posters

San Joaquin River Restoration Map
Published 2012

This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, features a map of the San Joaquin River. The map text focuses on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, which aims to restore flows and populations of Chinook salmon to the river below Friant Dam to its confluence with the Merced River. The text discusses the history of the program, its goals and ongoing challenges with implementation. 

Maps & Posters

Delta Sustainability Map
Published 2006

This beautifully illustrated 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing and display in any office or classroom, focuses on the theme of Delta sustainability.

The text, photos and graphics explain issues related to land subsidence, levees and flooding, urbanization and fish and wildlife protection. An inset map illustrates the tidal action that increases the salinity of the Delta’s waterways. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the California Bay-Delta Authority.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project
Updated 2011

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project explores the history and development of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), California’s largest surface water delivery system. In addition to the history of the project, the guide describes the various CVP facilities, CVP operations, the benefits the CVP brought to the state, and the CVP Improvement Act (CVPIA).

Maps & Posters

California Water Map
Updated December 2016

A new look for our most popular product! (A perfect holiday gift for the water work in your life, order by Dec. 19 so it will be shipped in time for Christmas).

Our 24×36 inch California Water Map is widely known for being the definitive poster that shows the integral role water plays in the state. On this updated version it is easier to see California’s natural waterways and manmade reservoirs and aqueducts - including federally, state and locally funded projects - the wild and scenic rivers system, and natural lakes. The map features beautiful photos of California’s natural environment, rivers, water projects, wildlife, and urban and agricultural uses and the text focuses on key issues: water supply, water use, water projects, the Delta, wild and scenic rivers and the Colorado River.

Aquapedia background

San Joaquin River and San Joaquin River Restoration Program

The San Joaquin River, which helps drain California’s Central Valley, has been negatively impacted by construction of dams, inadequate streamflows and poor water quality.

Formerly home to the nation’s largest spring-run of Chinook salmon, the river was dammed in 1942 to provide water to farms and cities in the San Joaquin Valley.

Western Water Magazine

Water Policy 2007: The View from Washington and Sacramento
March/April 2007

This issue of Western Water looks at the political landscape in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento as it relates to water issues in 2007. Several issues are under consideration, including the means to deal with impending climate change, the fate of the San Joaquin River, the prospects for new surface storage in California and the Delta.

Western Water Magazine

Farms, Fish and Restoration: The Friant Decision and the Future of the San Joaquin River
November/December 2004

This issue of Western Water explores the implications for the San Joaquin River following the decision in the Natural Resources Defense Council lawsuit against the Bureau of Reclamation and Friant Water Users Authority that Friant Dam is required to comply with a state law that requires enough water be released to sustain downstream fish populations.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

The Friant Decision and the Future of the San Joaquin River
Nov/Dec 2004

The San Joaquin River provides the water that enables farms up and down the San Joaquin Valley’s eastern side to produce a substantial agricultural bounty. For more than 50 years, the majority of the river has been halted at Friant Dam and diverted north and south for use by farms and homes throughout parts of five counties, in the process making that part of the valley the most productive agricultural region in the world.

Commands