Delta economy, at a glance

Some highlights from the Delta Protection Commission’s draft economic sustainability report, released this week:

• Delta agriculture provides 13,700 jobs and nearly $2.8 billion in goods and services within the five Delta counties, including San Joaquin;

• Ag provides five times more jobs than recreation in the Delta, raising questions whether recreation could replace agriculture as the area’s main economic driver;

• Improving the visibility and recognition of the Delta will help tourism, but incentives for businesses are needed;

• The Delta’s levees are critical to the estuary’s economic stability, and are in better condition than they are often portrayed, though more work is needed;

• Implementing the Bay Delta Conservation Plan as drafted by the Schwarzenegger administration in late 2010 would cause a 30 percent to 50 percent decline in Delta agriculture, and could decrease recreation and tourism as well;

• A large peripheral canal or tunnel would decrease agricultural production by $200 million per year as saltier water harms high-value crops; and

• Plans to restore 65,000 acres of wetland habitat in the Delta would decrease agricultural production by $84 million per year while generating few dollars from tourists.

 

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