Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Navigating the Delta

I was drawn to California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta because most of what I’ve been reading and hearing over the years focused just on the water diversion and on the endangered species caught up in that system. About a year ago, I started driving through the Delta and became really curious about who lives there, their history and culture, and what they do for work and for fun.  KALW's Crosscurrents let me scratch that itch a bit by doing a 4-part series about the people of the Delta and the work that drives them.

Navigating the Delta Part 1: Meeting the People Who Live in California's Water Hub
Aired on KALW's Crosscurrents February 12, 2014.

Navigating the Delta Part 2: The Roots of Agriculture
Aired on KALW's Crosscurrents February 19, 2014.

Navigating the Delta Part 3: Holding On To A Boating Economy And Culture
Aired on KALW's Crosscurrents February 19, 2014.

Navigating the Delta Part 4: Levees
Aired on KALW's Crosscurrents March 6, 2014.

The Dangerous Work of Palm Workers

Aired on NPR's Latino USA on February 21, 2014.

It’s said that date palm trees want their feet in water, and their heads in fire. It makes sense, then that more than 90% of the dates harvested in the U.S. grow in California’s Eastern Coachella Valley. Irrigation water is pumped here from the Colorado River, and summer temperatures can top 120 degrees. I spent some time in the Eastern Coachella Valley last spring, and got curious about the history of dates here, and about the palmeros, palm workers, who tend them.