Saturday, October 9
Today's photo excursion:
This summer's levee break in the Lower Jones Tract flooded the island with
about 9' of water. They're supposed to have it all pumped out in November.
The delta area directly west of Stockton has had more than its share of
problems, including the decades old problem of eroding levees. They think
this one was caused by an over-energetic beaver. Crops, property and lots
of dollars are lost. Most of the levees were built by the original land
owners about 100 years ago, which explains part of the problem. You can see
the flooding in the distance, below Mt. Diablo. In the foreground you'll
see another huge problem, a Water Hyacinth epidemic.
Introduced from South America in the 1800's, "Water Hyacinth grows profusely, forming dense mats that can spread across water surfaces eventually choking the entire water body. It can destroy native wetlands and waterway and kill native fish and other wildlife. Furthermore, it causes high evaporation rate and loss of water and degrades water quality.
The fast-growing Water Hyacinth soon becomes a noxious weed outside its native habitat. Plants interlock in such a dense mass that a person could walk on a floating mat of them from one bank of a river to the other. The presence of Water Hyacinth disrupts all life on the water. By shading the water, these plants deprived native aquatic plants of sunlight and animals of oxygenated water. As the mats decay, there is a sharp increase in nutrient levels in the water, which spark off algal growths that further reduces oxygen levels."
It's beautiful stuff, but has been a cancer to the Delta waterways. Herbicidal
spraying is the main course of action locally.
Another headache for Delta lovers is the abundance of trash. This morning I saw
everything from bagged newspapers on land to a partly filled quart oil can floating in the water. Discarded shoes, food containers, clothing, metal, lumber, concrete,
and much more, all within 15' of where these pictures were taken. Even an old
Civilization's mandate of having "dominion" over this good earth includes a
mandate to keep it beautiful and ecologically in balance. God's glory is to be
reflected in creation. His love and providential care should be reflected in
how we treat it and use it.