Toxic algal blooms—which can make people sick and kill pets—are spreading fast in the Delta. Our patrol drone, Osprey, recently captured the footage above of the Stockton Marina (above), where plumes of sickly green algae have fanned out along the waterfront.
These poisonous microorganisms are the result of systemic failures in water management. Industrial agriculture and other large water users take too much water out of our rivers, and replace it with polluted agricultural runoff and wastewater treatment plant effluent. There isn’t enough water left to flush out pollutants and keep the rivers cool.
Unless we provide adequate flow and pollution controls, toxic algae will become more widespread in the Bay and the rivers that feed it, especially as the climate warms.
There’s a solution — the state simply needs to implement minimum flow requirements, which already exist, for fresh water in the San Joaquin River and adopt additional rules managing flow through the Delta and the Bay.