"This is a living, vibrant community, another voice that needs to be heard in this process," said Larry Emery, pastor of the Walnut Grove Community Presbyterian Church. "Sometimes, the Delta has not always been well-represented."Instead of prayer, these communities will have to offer money -- money to maintain the levees that are currently subsidized by the State. In addition, they will have to purify water that's increasingly saline.
In Manteca, longtime water watchdog Alex Hildebrand complained that a team of researchers from the Public Policy Institute of California refused to consider his advice when crafting their own report, which recommended a canal.
"The production of food is not considered to be of social importance" in their analysis, Hildebrand said.
Delta landowner Dino Cortopassi this month bought full-page ads in two newspapers, as well as radio and television spots blasting the canal. He started working on the Delta when he was 10 years old, and remembers looking across the morning mist at Mt. Diablo rising up in the west.
"I love the Delta. There is no question," he said.
Others share the same love - and concern. New Delta advocacy groups are forming. The Clarksburg Community Church recently held a 12-hour prayer vigil to "seek God and his guidance and help" in the future of the little town and the Delta.
Where will they get the money? Their land is falling in value as the probability of permanent immersion rises, and their crops will not fetch any more on the market. (Contrary to Mr. Hildebrand's intuition, food can be grown in other places besides the Delta.)
Bottom Line: Delta communities have been living in drained wetlands for years, sustained by subsidies from the State. Although they think the PC will destroy their communities, Mother Nature is actually taking back what was once hers. Stop praying and start packing.