New River Delta Multi-touch E-Book


March 19, 2013, San Francisco, CA -- KQED and the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) have pooled their rich multimedia resources to create River Delta, a visually absorbing, multi-touch e-book with interactive animations, maps and videos highlighting the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta’s diverse species, intricate ecosystem, complex engineering and water usage issues affecting natural resources, people and wildlife.

The book also addresses science education standards, including the topics of ecosystems, natural resources, geology and human impact, while highlighting the connection between science and engineering.  Ultimately, readers of all ages will come away with a deeper understanding of what the Delta is, why it is so important to California, and how it may be conserved for future generations.

“The key to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, as with all deltas, is water,” says Robert E. Doyle, General Manager of EBRPD. “Our Delta has been the subject of a decades-long water war. It supplies water for 25 million Californians, millions of acres of farm land, a profoundly rich wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities, but most of the state’s residents have never seen it. With water issues at the forefront of our state’s future we are especially pleased to collaborate with KQED and share our expertise to create such an exceptional resource for educational and public use.”

The River Delta book was created with Apple’s digital book creation app, iBooks Author. The book is free and is available exclusively on the iBookstore in the textbook category at Non-iPad users can find most of KQED’s Delta-related media online at  A companion River Delta iTunes U course is also in the works for release this spring.

“Using innovative technologies to engage students and teachers in new ways of learning and enhancing science education in the classroom and in our communities is one of KQED’s key missions,” says Robin Mencher, Director, Education and Media Learning at KQED. “We are very excited to partner with the EBRPD to bring the Delta to everyone’s doorstep while inspiring educators, students and life-long learners to go deeper into issues facing their local watersheds.”

The 47-page River Delta book is divided into six main chapters:

Chapter 1 covers the basics about what a river delta is, the specific make-up of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and how it is  unique and so important to California, from species survival and our drinking water supply, to farmers and our food supply, to our natural resources and state tourism.

Chapter 2 explores why the Delta is important to wildlife. It reviews the complex ecosystem, featuring dynamic interactive animations about the salmon and trout of the Delta and their life cycles, along with information on other lesser-known fish and bird species.

Chapter 3 reviews how the Delta has changed over time and features videos, illustrations and photographs from the KQED QUEST series and KQED’s Saving the Bay program narrated by Robert Redford. Interactive maps show how the Delta’s habitats have changed over the last 200 years. The engineering of the Delta that began in the 1930s, California’s sources of water and the Delta’s changing saltwater mix are also vibrantly illustrated with video excerpts and animations.

Chapter 4 tackles the challenges facing the Delta today, covering declining fish populations, invasive species and increased water usage. It also features two different perspectives on the state of the Delta by officials from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Westlands Water District. The more than 1,000 miles of levees, sinking land, earthquake risk, river flows and climate change are also addressed.

Chapter 5 examines what can be done to help the Delta, from conserving water on farms and in homes to restoring sinking land and habitat to new policies from federal and state governments.

Chapter 6 highlights other amazing river deltas in the United States and around the world, including the Mississippi, the Colorado, the Ganges and the Amazon river deltas. Aerial photographs of these deltas inspire wonder and are works of art in themselves.

From KQED, Jenny Oh and Andrea Swensrud were the principal producers of the River Delta book and Lauren Sommer was the principal author. From the East Bay Regional Park District, Mike Moran provided content expertise for the book and Doyle Wegner provided illustrations that he originally created for EBRPD’s Big Break Regional Shoreline exhibit in Oakley, California.  


The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco. The system comprises 112,000+ acres in 65 parks including over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature study.

About KQED

KQED  serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

KQED Contact: Sevda Eris, 415-553-2935,

Carolyn Jones
(510) 544-2217