San Joaquin River DOTMDL -- Technical Working Group

Editorial: Greener is not better

San Joaquin Record - July 28, 2004

The green algae in control of the Stockton Deep Water Channel is a very serious matter.

Its early bloom this summer is a reminder that Stockton's aquatic gateway isn't quite ready for prime time.

Construction is under way on the city's new downtown sports complex.

The historic Hotel Stockton's impressive facelift will be complete by early next year.

Six hundred new berths for boats are part of the city's redevelopment plan.

There's still talk that developers Fritz Grupe and Alex Spanos eventually will be building waterside condominiums and apartments.

Already complementing Stockton's emerging west end are DeCarli Plaza, City Centre Cinemas 16 and the Essential Services Building.

Yet the channel's water remains green, creating an uninviting waterfront during summer's peak recreational months.

City officials must take the lead in fixing Stockton's stagnant inland sea.

Their ambitious downtown plans should include keeping the Deep Water Channel at its appealing best.

The Port of Stockton and various other Delta water agencies must play roles, too. That includes sharing the financial burden.

Stockton, with its growing waterfront investment, has the most at stake.

The challenge is daunting. Estimates run as high as $4 million to develop a system that would both stir the water and pump fresh oxygen into it.

Until those funds are found, the city has asked the port to employ its fireboat to help circulate the foul water. This floating mixer has been used before.

But the fix is temporary. The clock is ticking.

By this time next year, a plan for funding and implementation needs to be in place. It's the only way for Stockton to fully realize the potential of its big investment in the waterfront. #

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