The claim by Ms Levy that “Historically, saltwater from the bay flowed as far inland as the present-day city of Sacramento.” is simply false. There is no evidence of that. Historically the most severe salinity intrusion was in the 1930’s during a severe drought exacerbated by large scale upstream irrigation in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys; that salinity intrusion did not reach Sacramento nor was it close.
Paleo-salinity data (see, for example, Malamud-Roam, F. and B.L. Ingram. 2004. Late Holocene δ13C and pollen records of paleosalinity from tidal marshes in the San Francisco Bay estuary, California. Quaternary Research 62:134-145) strongly suggest that the 1920-30s drought period had the most severe salinity intrusion into the Delta in the past several thousand years.
It is true, as she states, that the Delta is heavily managed to maintain low salinity levels despite large scale diversions from the system for human uses.
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