Save the Delta!
More than fish and ecosystems are at stake in the battle to stop the Delta water grab. Chinese pioneers built the first Delta levees and helped carve some of the richest farmland in the world from vast swamplands south of the capital city. The town of Locke’s 100th anniversary this year celebrates the accomplishments of the first generation of tenant farmers, farm laborers and labor contractors who populated a string of vital towns up and down the river: Courtland, Walnut Grove, Locke, Isleton. From 1872 well into the 20th century, white mobs from Seattle to San Diego brutalized Chinese immigrants in a paroxysm of violence known as “The Driving Out.” The Sacramento Delta was the only place in the West where Chinese and whites coexisted peacefully. By draining the Delta and shipping the water South, the remnants of these Chinese communities and the lands they helped shape will be decimated by a new scourge: “The Drying Out.” Let’s not forget the “culture” part of agriculture. Jeff Gillenkirk
These stories and more can be found in the book, Bitter Melon: Inside America's Last Rural Chinese Town