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Council Meets With Water Bloggers

December 2011

In an effort to reach new audiences and the public about the Delta Plan, members of the Council and staff talked to online writers and bloggers in November.

In the past, press calls and conferences have been reserved for members of traditional media (newspapers, TV, and radio). Council Chair Phil Isenberg noted, however, that as newsrooms reduce their staffs, online writers are jumping to fill the void.

“After traveling the state and meeting with newspapers, it didn’t take long to discover there are fewer editorial board members and fewer water reporters,” Isenberg said. “Much of the coverage, much of the news and commentary, is shifting rapidly to blogs and electronic reports.”

At the Council’s office in Sacramento, Isenberg, along with Council Vice-Chair Randy Fiorini and members of Council staff, talked to bloggers from across the state, in-person and via conference call.

Stressing the Council’s commitment to creating a plan that meets the coequal goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem restoration in a way that protects and enhances the Delta as an evolving place, Isenberg and Fiorini fielded questions from bloggers for nearly 90 minutes regarding how the Delta Plan addresses water supply reliability, a restored Delta ecosystem, agriculture, the public trust, water supply, water quality, the environment and more.

“We want to begin a dialogue, an understanding with those of you who are in the business of writing and communicating about water,” Fiorini said to the group. “There’s going to be a lot happening in the next four to five months in terms of the development of this plan, and it’s critical that the general public and those that follow water understand what’s going on. We think a great source of in-depth and timely information lies with [bloggers].”

Fiorini explained that this meeting would provide an opportunity for bloggers to get information directly from the Council and ask questions to better understand what is an incredibly complex topic.

Isenberg’s message to the group was simple. “We want you to know that we’re reading your blogs,” he said.

In addition to direct contact with the public and stakeholders, the Council plans to continue reaching out to new and traditional media in order to communicate openly and honestly about the draft Delta Plan and to generate additional dialogue.

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Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)