Reenvisioning the San Joaquin

Scientists from the San Francisco Estuary Institute are reconstructing the Delta’s pre-Spanish landscape, PBS reports. Check out the photos.

Life around the Delta was completely water-oriented, of course. Only in the postwar years did the city of Stockton sprawl away from its liquid core. But by then of course that core was a lot less liquid and more polluted, thanks to the construction of Friant Dam and the discharge of ag runoff laden with fertilizers and pesticides.

Yet these photos suggest human, like all nature’s creatures, are drawn to water. And this impulse surely underlies the sprawlish land-use choices and regulatory barriers impeding Stockton’s return to its waterfront. That basic connection to water must be like water behind a levee — pushing, patient, ultimately sure to prevail.

In another story, PBS reports restoration of the San Joaquin River may take another 20 years. One reason: money.

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