Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI)

Related News Archive: 2008

So, what’s a Delta Smelt, anyway??

In this day and age, when everything seems to be going wrong, drought, global warming, bridges collapsing, fires-I could keep going, but I won’t-I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read about the delta smelt.  The delta smelt is a small (generally 2-3 inches), steely blue and nearly translucent fish.  Delta smelt live 1-2 years, feed exclusively on plankton, and, amazingly, smell like cucumbers. The species is endemic to the upper San Francisco Bay and the Delta, meaning it is found nowhere else on Earth. Unfortunately, the place it calls home is a place in crisis. And that is cause for concern, even if you don’t happen to be a delta smelt. The Delta–where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers converge before flowing into the Bay–is the heart of the Bay watershed and the hub for much of the state’s freshwater supply.  Two in three Californians– some 23 million people– depend on the system for at least part of their water.   More »

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