The Delta is located at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and includes 700 miles of sloughs and winding channels and 57 island tracts protected by over 1,100 miles of levees, the majority of them un-engineered dirt structure with stability issues.
Starting in the mid 1800’s settlers, many of them failed gold seekers, came to the Delta seeking its deep peat soil. They built levees and drained land to plant crops. Most of the 738,000 acres in the Delta are used as agricultural land. Crops produced include asparagus, pears, corn, grain and hay, sugar beets, and tomatoes. Agricultural production in the Delta has an average annual value over $500 million.
In September of 2006 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed, Senate Bill 1556 (Torlakson) supporting the creation of the Great California Delta Trail. The bill requires the Delta Protection Commission (DPC) to facilitate the trail’s planning and feasibility process.
“Requires the Commission, if they receive sufficient funds from sources other than the General Fund (GF) to cover the costs, to develop a plan and implementation program for a continuous regional recreational corridor that extends around the Delta, including the Delta’s shorelines in Contra Costa, Solano, San Joaquin, Sacramento and Yolo Counties. Requires that the plan include a bicycle and hiking trail, and consider the relationship of the route to existing and proposed parks and public transportation. Requires that the plan link the San Francisco Bay Trail System to planned Sacramento River trails in Sacramento and Yolo Counties, and requires that the plan provide alternative routes to avoid impinging on traditional hunting and fishing areas in the Delta.” Bill analysis
The DPC completed a blueprint plan for Contra Costa and Solano counties in September of 2010. It now heads to the Board of Supervisors to be adopted by each county, before initiating the master planning process.
This Blueprint Report establishes a specific vision, goals and policies for the Delta Trail. It provides a review of the Solano and Contra Costa Counties settings, a summary of related adopted policies, a review of regional trail technical issues and best practices, and an action plan to implement the vision and goals, recommended outreach and engagement strategies, a description of potential trail concepts, and information on funding opportunities.