Environment & Science

California to commission new Delta research vessel

Tides used to ebb and flow in the Delta's marshes. Then people drained the land for farming. The soil shrinks down several inches a year, raising pressure on the levees and the risk that the system will fail.
Tides used to ebb and flow in the Delta's marshes. Then people drained the land for farming. The soil shrinks down several inches a year, raising pressure on the levees and the risk that the system will fail.
Mae Ryan/KPCC

The California Department of Water Resources will commission a new research vessel next week.

The department will hold a ceremony and display the vessel Sentinel to news media on Monday in Sacramento.

The department says the floating laboratory is critical to maintaining water quality in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay.

The Sentinel is a 60-foot aluminum catamaran. Its predecessor, the San Carlos, dates to 1976.