Ryer Island  
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History of

Historic Maps

Wrong Maps


DRMS Wrong

Google Wrong

This website is being provided as a service to the businesses and residents of Ryer Island, located within Solano County, California, in the hub of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region.  Since Solano County has two islands named "Ryer", some online mapping services and major vehicle GPS systems have had great difficulty consistently recognizing the location of the Ryer Island that is populated, has several businesses, farms, marina, RV park, two ferry landings and bridge access as compared to the government-owned restoration site in the Suisun Marsh with no services.

     The Ryer Island that is the focus of this website is located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region, north east of Rio Vista and Hwy 12.   Bing Maps uses the following GPS:  38.238174 -121.632156 and last time we checked, if you use those numbers Google will actually show you the populated "Ryer Island".

Ryer Island is surrounded by water:  Steamboat Slough borders the south and east sides of Ryer Island, Sutter Slough borders Ryer Island on its east side, Miner's Slough borders Ryer Island on its north and part of its west side, and Cache Slough, which is also referred to as the Sacramento Ship Channel, borders Ryer Island on its west side.  Since about 2004, Google, TomTom, TeleAtlas and a few other mapping services have been intentionally directing enquiries to the unpopulated Ryer Island, and refuses to list the populated Ryer Island, even though notified by businesses, residents and even the Solano County survey office of the conflicts of data.  In fact, Google now fails to show the names of most of the major Delta islands-so it's not just a problem for Ryer Island but also many of the other populated Delta islands.  At least as of January 2013, Bing maps continues to accruately display Delta island and waterway names, so we suggest you use that online mapping company instead when traveling to the Delta.

   An official survey map from 1850, when California became a state, shows that there were two islands in the area that became Ryer Island.  One was called Schoolcraft Island and the other was called Sutter Island.  The next official government survey of the area, in the 1860's, a survey to facilitate the state selling off the lands of the Delta to be reclaimed, and to confirm lands already owned, showed that Ryer Island as it is generally located today was already reclaimed and had been renamed in honor of Dr. Ryer, according to a report by historian John Thompson.

This is NOT about the other Ryer Island located in the Suisun bay and also in Solano County.  There are many wrong or false maps being distributed online by various online mapping sources, which made this website a nessisity to preserve the true history of Ryer Island.

Click or "double-click" on the map to the right below (or any of the maps and graphins in this website) to see full size version showing location ofRyer Island in the northern part of the Delta, and how to reach Ryer Island by car or boat.  Note there are two ferrys and a bridge to Ryer Island but if you are traveling in a large motorhome we suggest you ONLY use the bridge at the north end of Ryer Island because your bumpers will scrape getting on and off the ferry.  The new Rio Vista/Ryer Island Ferry was purposefully designed with a big dip that makes it hard for busses, large RV's and farming equipment to utilize the ferry.  Trucks pulling boat trailers do just fine though!

Besides the historical maps of Ryer Island, we also show information for Steamboat Slough, Grand Island, Sutter Slough and some of the Sacramento River History.  In addition, we are chronicling the wrong maps and data on Ryer Island published by
Sacramento Delta northern region
Click for directions to Ryer Island
Google, DWR, CALFED-DRMS, FEMA, NOAA, CalTrans, URS, Delta Vision and other government organizations or their contractors which are actively disiminating false Ryer Island information.  We don't know why they are doing it...just noting its being done!  For examples, see the latest CalTrans "travel map" for District 4, where Ryer Island is located:

Two Delta islands named Ryer in Solano County!    Another example:  Apparently from 2006 to the beginning of 2008 Google Maps listed Ryer Island as "Tyler" island, and then showed the name Ryer Island where the other Ryer Island (formerly Long Point Island) in the Suisun Marsh area is located.  When notified of the incorrect island name labeling, Google "fixed" the problem by recognizing the later Ryer.  However, in 2008, if you tried Google map and directions function, it would send you to Grand Island instead, at least for most of 2008 and early 2009.  Google said to contact TeleAtlas.  Even Solano County mapping/survey office got involved and made a request for the map correction in November 2008, but as of September, 2009,  Google or TeleAtlas still hasn't bothered to correctly label the area, even though the online status check from TeleAtlas says "we see the problem" and later "we're working on it".  Since so many different governmental agencies appear to use Google for mapping, the incorrect island names (not just Ryer, but other Delta islands also) keep showing up,  /fir example, a prominent scientist named Jeffry Mount, who has for years promoting restoration of the Delta, uses in his slide show presentation about the delta a large map for the North Delta area, which lists Ryer Island as "Grand Island".  If even a prominent scientist who has spent his career studying the Delta region uses slides showing incorrect island names, clearly the problem of incorrect mapping has become extensive.

     Why two Ryer Islands in Solano county?  For some unknown reason, in 1981 the USGS mapping service officially renamed Long Point Island in Suisun Bay as "Ryer" and that was the beginning of the confusion.  They even noted there is another Ryer Island in Solano County, 25 miles to the north!  Since 1981, various governmental reports and assessments appear to transpose which Ryer Island they are talking about, and even physical data regarding the Ryer Island on Suisun Bay appears to have been used for Reports regarding Ryer Island by Steamboat Slough!  Solano County mapping department has been notified of this conflict of names, and hopefully they will be able to get the online mapping services to make the corrections since citizen requests have not been responded to.  In addition, Ryer Island by Steamboat and Cache Sloughs has a wonderful and beautiful history as one of the early-established and diverse agricultural and recreation islands of the California Delta Region.  From  the 1850's, the area we know as Ryer Island has been a great place to live, farm, fish and relax.  This website will be posting photos, maps, paintings and sketches from the last 150 years of life on Ryer Island.  Please check back!  In the meantime, here's a link to the comments of one writer from that time:

click to enlarge)

As of March 2010 DWR representatives have acknowledged the use of incorrect data regarding Ryer Island and have agreed to notify the consultant companies who drafted the report (URS and Benjamin & Associates) of the mistake.  See details. 
Go to incorrect report online:  Delta Risk Management Strategy, Phase 1 report   Now compare what other government and historical agencies say

Ironically, DWR published another map in 2007 with the correct total for Ryer Island, if one insists on counting flood occurrences from BEFORE the current levees were built:


  “Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity in California”.  oor


     Please use the links to the left to go to the historic maps.  Or to see "print screens" of the conflicting Delta Island Names, go to the GPS conflicts links .pdf

Google Conflicts  Example-links   Other GPS Maps

Since underlying data for the maps for several Delta initiatives were produced in 2006 using incorrect island names, the incorrect maps used in 2009 reports may reflect back to the conflicts in island names found on Google in 2005 and 2006.


a CORRECT Bing map of Ryer Island on 1/30/2013

Google map of Ryer Island on 1/30/2013 shows only the Suisin Bay other Ryer Island...why?