The California Delta is a natural and cultural treasure dotted with legacy towns rich in historical lore. About 750,000 acres in size, it includes dozens of islands, levees and agricultural lands including about 1,000 miles of rivers and sloughs, all of which provide important habitat for more than 750 different species of plants, animals and fish including rare and endangered species. The Delta provides drinking water for 25 million Californians and irrigation water for more than 7 million acres of the most productive agricultural land in the nation. The California Delta is the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas, formed by the confluence of California’s two largest rivers: the Sacramento River flowing south from its headwaters near Mt. Shasta, and the San Joaquin River flowing north from its origins high in the southern Sierra Nevada. This important region is under severe stress resulting from degraded water quality, urbanization, loss of habitat, non-native species and competing demands for its limited resources. Despite its importance, most Californians do not know where it is, or understand its value.
The Delta contains huge water resources, valuable gas reserves, ideal locations for wind and solar installations, major agricultural and recreational industries, hundreds of local businesses, thousands of residents, and major wildlife resources.
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Facts
- Counties with parts within the Delta: Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Contra Costa.
- Major cities partly within Delta: Sacramento, Stockton, West Sacramento and Oakley. Rio Vista in Solano County is on the edge of the official Delta boundary.
- Unincorporated towns and villages: 14
- Population: 515,264
- Acreage: 491,774
- Recreation: Includes 290 shoreline recreation areas and 300 marinas.
- Farming: About 322,619 acres, with crops such as corn, grain, alfalfa, tomatoes and asparagus.
- Wildlife: Fifty-two mammal species, 22 reptile and amphibian species, 225 bird species and 54 fish species.
- Major roads: Highways 12, 4 and 160 and Interstates 5, 80 and 205.
- Water source: About 25 million people get water from the Delta.Source: Delta Protection Commission