This report presents the findings of the 2016 California WaterFix (CWF) Aquatic Science Peer Review, Phase 2B. An Independent Review Panel (Panel; Appendix 1) was convened by select staff of the Delta Science Program to provide the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) with the views of experts not involved in the CWF Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation and 2081(b) permit on the use of best available scientific information in the California WaterFix Incidental Take Permit (CWF ITP) application. The agencies further requested review of the Adaptive Management Framework proposed to integrate future scientific research, monitoring, and decision making during construction and operations of CWF.
Accordingly, the Panel was charged with reviewing NMFS’ analytical approach and FWS’ analytical framework, status of the species and critical habitat, environmental baseline, and effects analysis sections of the draft BiOps on CWF for all ESA- and California ESA (CESA)-listed aquatic species and their critical habitat (see Charge, Appendix 2).
After reviewing the charge and a set of prescribed documents (Appendix 3), the Panel participated in a public meeting in Sacramento, CA on January 23-24, 2017. On the first day of this meeting, the Panel interacted with agency representatives after they gave presentations on the topics above. On the second day, the Panel communicated internally and then discussed its preliminary findings with agency representatives and the public (Appendix 4).