Contra Costa Times: Wall Street collapse kicks up Delta dust


Some residents have opposed the project because of the clash
between luxury houses and the island's rustic character, while others
welcome the influx of money the project would bring to the local
economy. Bethel Island has about 2,000 residents, so a completed
project with 494 houses and 33 condominiums would dramatically
increase the population.

Other critics say the project is a prime example of bad land-use

Bethel Island is as much as 20 feet below sea level in some places.
Many of the houses are built on stilts because of the flood danger, and
many others have living quarters on second or third floors.

The houses in Delta Coves would be built on a sturdy levee, but that
design could increase the flood risk elsewhere because other portions
of the island would fill with water faster.

"This is sort of scary in a sense," said Jeffrey Mount, a geologist at UC
Davis who has been critical of new developments in the Delta and
particularly on Bethel Island. "When you build these levees, they take
constant maintenance."