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Farmers Protest Canal to Redirect Sacramento River

— About a hundred people rallied at the state capitol Monday to show concerns about the future of one of California's deltas. They want lawmakers to vote against a proposal that calls for construction of a massive canal.

The rally was organized by farmers, fishermen and boaters who claim their voices are not being heard as the future of the delta is debated. They oppose plans to build a peripheral canal that would transport water from the delta to homes and businesses across California, saying it would harm the environment. Democratic state senator Mark DeSaulnier attended the rally. He's worried lawmakers are moving too fast on the delta legislation.

"Its racing ahead in a prejudicial way that determines that we do need a peripheral canal. That we need a lot of architecture. That is based on politics rather than science," said DeSaulnier.

In 1982, California voters defeated a ballot measure that called for building a delta canal. A panel formed by Governor Schwarzenegger supports building the multi-billion dollar project. Canal supporters say it's needed because water supplies aren't protected if an earthquake destroys delta levees. The canal would divert water from the Sacramento River to pumping stations near Tracy.

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