A Sense of Place: the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta by Dr. Bob Benedetti, Professor Emeritus
Friday, March 31 at 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Janet Leigh Theatre
3601 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95211
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been inhabited for 13,000 years. Various residents have viewed the region very differently through that period. For the Native American settlers, the Delta was an ideal place to integrate their lives with nature. The Spanish viewed the Delta as a place of danger and foreboding. Foreign entrepreneurs saw the fertile land as a foundation for personal empires. Gold seekers traveled the Delta's rivers as highways to great wealth. Those who did not strike it rich often turned to farming the Delta assisted by a revolution in agricultural machines. They were joined by waves of new immigrant laborers. As agricultural markets fluctuated, the Delta also became a place of escape from the pressures and regulations of Northern California cities. More recently, there have been wars of words between those who define the Delta as a water reservoir and those who would protect the region as a significant habitat. The presentation reviews this evolution in detail and explores the interrelationships between those who hold differing definitions of this significant region.
Robert Benedetti is Professor Emeritus of Political Science from Pacific and a Research Associate at the Center for California Studies, Sacramento State University. He co-directed an exploration of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta history and culture for the Delta Protection commission in 2014-15. He is completing research on Stockton’s bankruptcy and California’s mayors. At Pacific he was Dean of the College and Professor of Political Science. He has also served as Chair of two state humanities councils, in Florida and California.