Top 10 Worst Environmental Decisions in California’s History

Ranking the lost landscapes and environmental features

California has a paradoxical history with its environment. On one hand, the state boasts incredible natural beauty, along with a government that is an internationally recognized leader for strong environmental policies. But the state’s residents have also caused severe environmental destruction, particularly in the late nineteenth century — some of which helped spur the mobilization …


The Delta 101: Of Levees, Canals & Whiskey

Nearly four out of five Californians do not know what the Delta is, according to a January 2012 poll.  That’s 78 percent of the population.  And 86 percent of southern Californians have never heard of it.  Yet, 25 million people and 3 million acres of farmland rely on the Delta for at least a portion …


California’s Delta & Water Reforms: Now the Hard Work Begins

Last fall’s passage of landmark California legislation to “fix” the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and reform California water law was big news. But key, recent events demonstrate that the devil is truly in the details, and that while legislation certainly matters, it is the manner and means of executive branch implementation that ultimately spell success or …


Environmental Hubris: Another Proposed “Fix” for the California Delta

Recently, California state water officials announced with considerable fanfare their latest technological “fix” for the environmental ills that have in recent years befallen the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, the Delta is in serious environmental decline–as scientists have carefully documented and which no one disputes at this …


Updating the Delta litigation line-up

The era of collaboration and cooperation that CalFed briefly brought to management of California’s water system is well and truly over. Lawsuits are multiplying like rabbits, promising to provide full employment for water and natural resource lawyers in California for the foreseeable future. For those of you scoring at home, here are some of the …