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The Delta Stewardship Council uses written and video blogs, produced by Council Chair Susan Tatayon, councilmembers, and staff to explore water-related issues and their relationship to the Council's Delta Plan.



Jay Lund stands in the Yolo Bypass near the California Delta.

On Science and Management in the Delta: A Conversation with Water Expert Jay Lund

By Susan Tatayon


May 30, 2019 - I recently sat down with California water expert and Delta Independent Science Board (ISB) member Jay Lund to talk about some of the challenges and opportunities for scientists and decision-makers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. I am pleased to share highlights from our conversation in this month’s Delta Stewardship Council Chair’s blog. Read more...



Climate change ecosystem restoration. State federal agencies provide critical funding

From Climate Change to Ecosystem Restoration: State, Federal Agencies Provide Critical Funding for New Delta Science Investigations

By John Callaway, Louise Conrad, and Dylan Stern

May 13, 2019 - When the Delta Stewardship Council approved nearly $10 million for scientific research last month, it marked the first large, multi-agency, competitive Delta science research solicitation in close to a decade. The Council, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation combined funds last fall to solicit new Delta science studies, attracting 62 proposals requesting a whopping $43 million in funding. Read more...



McCormack Williamson Tract aerial.

Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee, a Critical Forum for Long-term Sustainability of the Delta

By Susan Tatayon

April 22, 2019 - Many of the agencies that helped create the Delta Plan, the State’s legally enforceable, long-term management plan for the Delta, are part of the Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee or DPIIC. Established by the Delta Reform Act of 2009, DPIIC comprises the highest-ranking members of 18 state, federal, and regional agencies. These leaders meet at least twice a year to coordinate programs and projects that affect land, wildlife, and water resources in the Delta. Read more...



Delta aerial taken by DWR in 2019.

Exploring the Delta's Big Questions

By Susan Tatayon

March 27, 2019 - For the millions of Californians who live and work far from the Delta, it can be easy to overlook the splendor of the largest estuary in western North America. Whether you are one mile or hundreds of miles from the Delta, however, all Californians have a stake in the survival and preservation of this fragile, dynamic ecosystem that is also the keystone of the state’s water supply system. Read more...




Improving Collaboration Across Agencies Is Key to Meeting Challenges Ahead
By Randy Fiorini

The November 2018 DPIIC meeting featured a presentation from the independent, non-partisan, federal Government Accountability Office that reviewed federal involvement in restoration in the estuary. The report included several recommendations for improving coordination among State and federal agencies, developing a revised framework to guide federal action in the watershed, and renewing efforts to track expenditures for performance management. Read more...




Science Governance: Closing the Data to Decision-Making Gap

By Jessica R. Pearson and John Callaway

How can government best support and protect the independence, credibility, and legitimacy of science? How can management and funding strategies ensure that scientific findings are relevant to decisions? How, in an age of information overload, can scientists ensure that their findings are not just useful, but also usable? What is the pathway of information from data collection to decision-making? And how can decisions better match the accelerating pace of environmental change? Read more...





New Delta Science Program Web Pages (video runs 0:55)

The Delta Stewardship Council is pleased to announce an update to the Delta Science Program section of its website. These new and improved web pages more clearly reflect the mission of the Delta Science Program and include a customizable search function for ease of access to a wide range of Delta science studies. Additionally, the update calls attention to the Delta Science Program’s services.

youtube link to New Delta Science Program Web Pages video



Science Action Agenda (video runs 3:30)

The Science Action Agenda is a four-year science agenda for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that prioritizes and aligns science actions to inform management decisions, fills gaps in knowledge, promotes collaborative science, builds the science infrastructure, and achieves the objectives of the Delta Science Plan. The document includes 13 priority science actions and associated management needs organized into five thematic science action areas.

youtube link to Science Action Agenda video



The Importance of the Interagency Ecological Program (video runs 4:39)

The IEP is a consortium of three state and six federal agencies that all have some responsibility overseeing the ecological health of the Delta. But their individual missions don't always mesh seamlessly, which is why a Lead Scientist is necessary to balance their resource needs so as to get as complete a picture as is possible about the overall ecological needs of the Delta.

youtube link to The Importance of the Interagency Ecological Program video



Carbon Farming the Delta (video runs 4:33)

Carbon Farming is a way for farmers to earn additional revenue for activities that help combat climate change and better manage land, water, plants and animals. A methodology is being developed that will allow Delta landowners to quantify greenhouse gas emissions and provide a monetary incentive to convert their land to wetlands or rice cultivation - items known to absorb carbon from the air.

youtube link to Carbon Farming the Delta video



The State of Bay-Delta Science (video runs 2:54)

The SBDS is a collection of papers that represents a synthesis of the current scientific understanding of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Together the papers emphasize the progress made on key research questions during the past decade, as well as identifying our remaining knowledge gaps.

To view the new SBDS webpage, please click here.

youtube link to The State of Bay-Delta Science video



The Delta Levees Investment Strategy Amendment (video runs 3:56)
The Delta Plan is mandated to attempt to reduce flood risk in the Delta and to recommend priorities to for State investment in levee maintenance and improvement. The Amendment establishes the priorities on where the State should invest in improving the Delta levee network.

youtube link to The Delta Levees Investment Strategy Amendment video



The Conveyance, Storage, and Operations Amendment (video runs 2:30)
The Delta Plan says that if the Bay Delta Conservation Plan process was not completed by Jan. 1, 2016, the Council would revisit the conveyance issue, as well as storage and operations. Cassandra Enos, the Council’s deputy executive officer for planning, explains the on-going procedure in the development of an amendment to Delta Plan for conveyance, storage, and the operation of both.


To read the draft CSO amendment, please click here..


youtube link to The Conveyance, Storage, and Operations Amendment video



The 2016 Annual Report(video runs 3:50)
Each year the Council publishes a progress report on the implementation of the Delta Plan. Jessica R. Pearson, the Council's executive officer, walks us through the report and highlights the work of the Council's staff as well as that of the Council’s partner agencies, whose efforts help implement the Delta Plan and advance the State’s coequal goals.


To read the 2016 Annual Report, please click here.


youtube link to The 2016 Annual Report video



Developing the Delta Levees Investment Strategy(video runs 2:35)
Reducing the risk of flooding for people, property, and State interests is critical to achieving a more reliable water supply for Californians and a healthy Delta ecosystem. A thousand miles of levees protect the Delta's islands, and as Council member Patrick Johnston points out, many of the levees are at risk of failure.

For more information on upcoming meetings and how you can get involved, please click here.

youtube link to Developing the Delta Levees Investment Strategy video



Protecting Farmland (video runs 3:25)
The Delta Plan emphasizes the protection of the Delta’s farmlands. Dan Ray, the Council’s chief deputy executive officer, explains how the Council works with Delta cities and counties to encourage that urban development stays in areas already planned for urban uses.

youtube link to Protecting Farmland video



Learning from Other Estuaries (video runs 2:44)
On Nov. 1-2, 2016, the Council and the USGS will host the Science Enterprise Workshop. Jessica Law, the Council's DPIIC coordinators, explains how the event will bring together scientists and policy experts so they can better understand how science is being managed, funded, and communicated in several other high-profile ecosystems within the U.S.


For more information, please click here.

youtube link to Learning from Other Estuaries video



Delta Rehabilitation (video runs 2:40)

The Delta Reform Act calls for improving the habitat of Delta river corridors for fish, birds and other animals. Jessica Davenport, program manager for ecosystem restoration, discusses a recent Council report that reviews past restoration projects and offers recommendations for next steps.


To read the report, please click here.


youtube link to Delta Rehabilitation video



The Value of Fellows (video runs 2:18)

The Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Science Program has a strong commitment to developing young scientists. Dr. Cliff Dahm, Lead Scientist of the Delta Science Program, explains how the Delta Science Fellows Program works and why it’s an integral part of the research efforts in the Delta.


For more information about the Delta Science Fellows Program, please click here.

youtube link to The Value of Fellows video



Communicating with Video (video runs 1:30)

Surveys show that 90% of website viewers find videos allow folks to better understand important information.


Jessica Pearson, the Council’s executive officer, explains how the Council will now use videos to update stakeholders and other Californians on its water policy activities as well as the Science Program’s continued research of the Delta.

youtube link to Communicating with Video video




Phil Isenberg Leaves the Council (video runs 4:30)

For more than 30 years Phil Isenberg has helped shape California public policy. At the March 2016 meeting, his term on the Council came to an end. Below are links to an archive of his materials and reflections during his time serving on the Council.



youtube link to Phil Isenberg Leaves the Council video



Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)