A Delta Transformed: Ecological Functions, Spatial Metrics, and Landscape Change in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
Keywords:ecosystem restoration, history, landscape ecology
Hazard’s Toll: The Costs of Inaction at the Salton Sea$0.00 Add to Downloads
Hazard’s Toll: The Costs of Inaction at the Salton SeaPacific Institute | September 3, 2014...Summary
The declining Salton Sea will impose massive public health and environmental costs on local residents and Californians generally, as described in the Pacific...
The declining Salton Sea will impose massive public health and environmental costs on local residents and Californians generally, as described in the Pacific Institute report Hazard’s Toll. The continued failure to protect and preserve the Salton Sea, worsening air quality and the loss of valuable ecological habitat – combined with diminished recreational revenue and property devaluation – could cost as much as $70 billion over the next 30 years.
The high costs of California’s 2007 plan for the Salton Sea have inhibited deliberation and deterred any meaningful investment in revitalizing the Salton Sea. Many decision-makers assume that delaying action at the Salton Sea will result in business as usual, with no additional costs.
Hazard’s Toll makes clear that this is not the case. Because the Salton Sea has changed over the past decade and will soon enter a period of very rapid decline, the costs of inaction are escalating rapidly. Even at the low end of the costs estimated in Hazard’s Toll, the long-term social and economic costs of a deteriorating Salton Sea could approach $29 billion, well in excess of the project cost of the state’s plan.
The consequences of continued inaction at the Salton Sea will be felt most directly by the 650,000 people who live in harm’s way of the Salton Sea’s dust, as well as by the birds and other life that depend on the lake. Hazard’s Toll estimates the costs of these consequences, for the first time. These considerable costs demonstrate the urgent need for action at the Salton Sea.
The report also highlights a large number of important data gaps that should be addressed in the near future. Despite many decades of study and the impending decline of the Salton Sea, we still lack information on many factors affecting life and the economy in the region. These factors, combined with general uncertainty about population growth rates, climate change, and changing hydrologic conditions, suggest that the above estimates indicate a general magnitude of potential future costs, rather than precise projections.
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 | 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. .
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.
Delta Working Landscapes: Public and Private Partnerships for Habitat$0.00 Add to Downloads
Delta Working Landscapes: Public and Private Partnerships for HabitatDelta Protection Commission | October 1, 2012...Summary
The Delta Working Landscapes Program (Program) is a group of projects which demonstrate how farmers can integrate habitat restoration into farming practices. The...
The Delta Working Landscapes Program (Program) is a group of projects which demonstrate how farmers can integrate habitat restoration into farming practices.
The objectives of the Program are to improve the environmental quality of existing landscapes in the Delta; coordinate programs with local farmers; understand the social, economic, environmental and governmental policy hurdles and/or incentives to perform conservation practices; and communicate to farmers the advantages of implementing wildlife friendly agricultural practices.
The Delta Protection Commission was awarded a three year grant to construct the program through the California Bay-Delta Program in 2005. Program partners included Hart Restoration (Hart) and Ducks Unlimited (DU). Hart established vegetative buffers along irrigation ditch banks and hedgerow grass plantings. These plantings were designed to provide habitat for wildlife, improve water quality by reducing runoff of pesticides and sediment, enhance levee stability, and retard levee erosion. DU coordinated restoration enhancement projects which included creating seasonal and permanent wetlands on marginal farmlands. These projects provide waterfowl brooding habitat, a food source, and additional habitat sites which promote healthier waterfowl flocks.
To date, these projects total 312 acres of seasonal and permanent wetlands and 6.5 miles of enhanced levees and waterways. Many of the revegetated areas are thriving with native plant life, have been repopulated by wildlife, and filter agricultural drainage which improves water quality and enhances levee stability. Multiple species of waterfowl are using the restoration habitats for brooding and feeding as well as staying later into the season.
Challenges to Working Landscapes projects include prior long term use of pesticides and herbicides which have created a hostile environment for native plants and wildlife. Additionally, some cultural practices are not conducive to habitat creation such as practices which rely on herbicides instead of tillage. Furthermore, economic costs are affiliated with physical land alterations, and in some cases permit requirements are cumbersome.
Despite these challenges, successful public/private partnerships are possible. Working Landscapes projects can be expanded through better communication between policy and regulatory agencies and publicizing successful projects.