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Delta Watch

Agricultural Run-off and Discharges

Salinity, herbicides, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals and pollutants from agricultural sources directly impact the Delta smelt, salmon and other endangered fisheries and their ecosystem. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, which released a recent report, Poisoning Our Imperiled Wildlife, "...all life stages of delta smelt are at least periodically exposed to lethal or sub-lethal concentrations of herbicides and pesticides discharged and transported from upstream into their habitat." According to the Center, both the smelt and the plankton on which it feeds are suffering direct mortality or impairment from the presence of toxic substances in the water. There is also evidence that toxic conditions in the North Delta, in the form of pyrethroids and organophosphates, may have caused a catastrophic loss of young Delta smelt.

Additional Information

2006 Pulse of the Estuary Report