2014 Technical Memorandum Regarding the Accounting of San Joaquin River Spring-run Chinook Salmon at the Central Valley Project and State Water Project Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Fish Collection Facilities
Keywords:anadromous fish, Central Valley Project (CVP), ecosystem management, endangered species, native fish, Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, State Water Project (SWP), water project operations
Aquatic Ecosystem Stressors in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta$0.00 Add to Downloads
Aquatic Ecosystem Stressors in the Sacramento-San Joaquin DeltaPublic Policy Institute of California (PPIC) | May 5, 2012...Summary
This report presents results from an analysis of the institutional and legal options for more effective ecosystem management in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta....
This report presents results from an analysis of the institutional and legal options for more effective ecosystem management in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It is part of a wide-ranging study on the management of multiple ecosystem stressors in the Delta. .
From the Sierra to the Sea: The Ecological History of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Watershed$0.00 Add to Downloads
From the Sierra to the Sea: The Ecological History of the San Francisco Bay-Delta WatershedThe Bay Institute | January 1, 1998...Summary
A vast watershed connects the mountain streams surrounding California’s Central Valley with San Francisco Bay and the ocean beyond. Over the course of...
A vast watershed connects the mountain streams surrounding California’s Central Valley with San Francisco Bay and the ocean beyond. Over the course of the last two centuries, much of the natural productivity, biodiversity and ecological integrity of the watershed has been destroyed by modifying the environment without fully understanding the long-term environmental consequences. Long the site of some of the nation’s most intensive conflicts over the use of land and water resources, this system is now emerging as the focus of one of the most ambitious ecological restoration efforts ever undertaken in the United States.
This report was designed to provide a coherent and defensible ecological framework and information base for restoration. The need for such an historical, broad-scale perspective on system ecology stems from two fundamental principles of ecological restoration - the need to manage toward a natural template and to manage at ecosystem and landscape levels.
San Francisco Bay: A Freshwater Starved Estuary$0.00 Add to Downloads
San Francisco Bay: A Freshwater Starved EstuaryThe Bay Institute | September 1, 2016...Summary
How Reducing Flows Harms the Ecosystems of San Francisco Bay and Coastal Waters The Bay Institute’s major new study, San Francisco Bay: The...How Reducing Flows Harms the Ecosystems of San Francisco Bay and Coastal Waters
The Bay Institute’s major new study, San Francisco Bay: The Freshwater – Starved Estuary, documents how the ecological health of San Francisco Bay and the nearby ocean is at high risk because large-scale water diversion in the Bay’s watershed severely limits the amount of fresh water that reaches the Bay and alters the timing of that flow. Inflow to the Bay from its Central Valley watershed now averages less than half of what it would be without diversions; in some years just one-third of the runoff makes it to the Bay. The result is a nearly permanent drought for the Bay’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats. This radical alteration creates severe consequences for the Bay and marine ecosystems – and Bay Area residents pay the price.
The study shows how unsustainable diversion of the Bay’s freshwater inflow:
Dramatically cuts production of fish and shrimp that are the food source for marine mammals, like Orca Whales, and birds;
Allows pollutants to accumulate to dangerous levels and encourages blooms of toxic algae;
Reduces sediment supply to Bay Area wetlands and beaches;
Makes it easier for undesirable non-native species to successfully invade the Bay Estuary.
The San Francisco Bay Estuary is created by the mixing of fresh water from the Central Valley’s rivers with salt water from the Pacific Ocean. Dramatically reducing the inflow of fresh water generates cascading effects in the Bay’s watershed, the Bay itself, and coastal ocean waters.
The report’s major findings include:
On average, since 1975 more than half (53%) of runoff from the Central Valley watershed has been diverted, stored, or exported before it can reach the Bay – and in many years two-thirds or more of the Bay’s inflow is captured;
As a result of intensive water diversions, the Bay experiences catastrophically dry years almost half the time (only one “supercritically dry” year occurred naturally between 1975-2014, but the Bay experienced nineteen supercritical years during that period);
Numerous unrelated fish species – from sharks to salmon, from sturgeon to smelt – show strong positive correlations with Bay Inflow; many of these species are now endangered, and even commercially viable fisheries are in decline;
Predators that feed on flow-dependent fish and shrimp are feeling the pinch – for example, dwindling supplies of Central Valley Chinook salmon may restrict the recovery of the local Orca whale population;
Blooms of toxic “algae” (cyanobacteria) are becoming more frequent, and other pollutants are becoming more concentrated, as a result of reductions in freshwater flows from the Bay’s watershed;
Bay Area beaches and tidal wetlands are deprived of sediment that was once transported by high river flows.
The study reports that local businesses are likely to suffer from the Bay’s continued decline, including those related to commercial fishing and tourism. As our Bay, beaches, wetlands, and fish and wildlife populations deteriorate, the quality of life for many Bay Area residents will also be severely – and perhaps permanently – damaged.
The study identifies four important approaches to improving Bay inflows:
Update the State’s 21 year old water quality standards for the Bay Estuary to ensure adequate inflow
Require all those who divert water destined for the Bay, not just a subset, to contribute their fair share of fresh water to support benefits enjoyed by all Californians
Invest in local water supplies around the state including conservation, and recycling, that can generate millions of acre-feet of water and reduce reliance on water diverted from the Estuary and its watershed
Coordinate management of flows with wetland and beach restoration to more effectively protect shorelines
The study was prepared for the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, a coalition of resource agencies, non-profits, citizens, and scientists working to protect, restore, and enhance water quality and fish and wildlife habitat in and around the San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary, which also provided the majority of funding for the project.
Habitat Restoration in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh: A Review of Science Programs$0.00 Add to Downloads
Habitat Restoration in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh: A Review of Science ProgramsDelta Independent Science Board | April 25, 2013...Summary
Current plans call for the restoration of tens of thousands of acres of mainly intertidal habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun...
Current plans call for the restoration of tens of thousands of acres of mainly intertidal habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh. Restoration on this scale presents both formidable challenges and tremendous opportunities. As part of its legislatively mandated oversight of Delta science programs, the Delta Independent Science Board reviewed these habitat restoration efforts. We held discussions with individuals from state and federal agencies, NGOs, consulting firms, and universities. We were impressed by their dedication, enthusiasm, and knowledge, as well as by the scientific and institutional challenges they face.
Our findings and observations about the restoration efforts are grouped under a series of criteria for a successful restoration program. In such a program: the goals are clearly articulated; the design incorporates spatial and temporal context, adaptive management and flexibility, and monitoring; modeling is used in design and evaluation; planning and implementation are coordinated among projects; the necessary scientific expertise is available; and stakeholders are involved early and often.
Our findings and recommendations agree with those reached independently by National Research Council (NRC) panels. For convenience, as in the Delta Plan, we use "the Delta" to encompass both the statutory Delta and Suisun Marsh.