In an effort to quicken the pace of habitat restoration in California’s biggest estuary, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) invited private companies, non-profit groups and individuals to submit proposals to create wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Through a first-of-its-kind Request for Proposal (RFP), DWR seeks partners to help fulfill its obligations under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. At the direction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, DWR must restore or create 8,000 acres of tidal habitat to benefit Delta smelt and another 800 acres for longfin smelt, plus 17,000 acres to 20,000 acres of seasonal floodplain to benefit juvenile winter-run chinook salmon, spring-run salmon and Central Valley steelhead. Projects to fulfill these obligations also could help meet DWR’s restoration responsibilities under the California Endangered Species Act.
These projects will advance California EcoRestore, a program to fulfill Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s direction to State agencies to begin restoration of at least 30,000 acres in the Delta over the next five years. In addition, the Brown Administration’s five-year Water Action Plan calls for restoration of important ecosystems.
California EcoRestore is an initiative to help coordinate and advance at least 30,000 acres of critical habitat restoration in the Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta over the next four years.
Driven by world-class science and guided by adaptive management, California EcoRestore will aggressively pursue habitat restoration projects with clearly defined goals, measurable objectives, and financial resources to help ensure success.
A broad range of habitat restoration projects will be pursued, including projects to address aquatic, sub-tidal, tidal, riparian, flood plain, and upland ecosystem needs.
California EcoRestore’s initial goal is to advance (i.e. complete or break ground on) 30,000 acres of Delta habitat restoration:
25,000 acres associated with existing mandates for habitat restoration, pursuant to federal biological opinions. These projects will be funded exclusively by the state and federal water contractors that benefit from the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project systems.
5,000 acres of habitat enhancements. Proposition 1 grants to local governments, non-profit organizations, and other entities will support these habitat enhancements throughout the Delta. Funding will come primarily from the Delta Conservancy, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the California Department of Water Resources.
California EcoRestore is not associated with any habitat restoration that may be required as part of the construction and operation of new Delta water conveyance (California WaterFix).
2004 photo of Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta by worldislandinfo.com via Wikipedia
Proposals due: November 30, 2016 by 4:00pm PST