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Science Spotlight

The Delta
The State of Bay-Delta Science 2016 Interactive Website

The State of Bay-Delta Science 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 and identify remaining knowledge gaps. The new interactive SBDS webpage offers more depth and clarity of the materials. All six of the related seminars by the report’s contributors are available for viewing. Finally, a Summary-of-Policies document distills key findings from SBDS 2016 for a policymaker audience.

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Eight Early-Career Scientists Named Delta Science Fellows

The Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Science Program has named eight doctoral graduate students and post-doctoral researchers as recipients of the agency’s 2017 Delta Science Fellowship.The Fellowship Program, administered by California Sea Grant, pairs junior scientists with academic and community mentors to work on collaborative data analysis and research projects as guided by the Delta Science Plan. Additional financial commitment is provided by the State and Federal Contractors Water Agency and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. 

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Your Comments are Requested on the Draft Science Action Agenda by May 31, 2017

The Delta Science Program is seeking public comment on the Draft 2017-2021 Science Action Agenda, a four-year science agenda for the Delta, developed through an open process working closely with the broad Delta science and management community. The comment period has been extended to May 31, 2017. Please click here for more information.

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The New Issue of SFEWS: A Central Valley Joint Venture Special Issue

Volume 15, Issue 1 of the free SFEWS online journal addresses the challenges of setting conservation objectives for birds in the Central Valley. Despite massive losses of habitat, the Central Valley’s wetlands, riparian forests, and grassland–oak savannah woodlands still provide some of the most important bird habitat in North America. Nearly three million ducks, two million geese, and 350,000 shorebirds continue to overwinter in this region, making the Central Valley an internationally important area for migratory waterbirds in the Pacific Flyway. Prioritization of conservation actions in that region for these waterbirds and landbirds is a critical step toward increasing their populations.

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California WaterFix Aquatic Science Peer Review Phase 2A and 2B Reports

At the request of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS), and the CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, select staff from the Council’s Delta Science Program convened Phases 2A and 2B of the CA WaterFix (CWF) Aquatic Science Review. Phase 2A reviewed the 2081(b) Incidental Take Permit application analyses and draft Adaptive Management Framework for CWF. Phase 2B reviewed sections of the NMFS’ and FWS’ draft Biological Opinions and a proposed approach to establishing Longfin Smelt outflow criteria for the 2081(b) Incidental Take Permit analyses for CWF. The peer review reports for both Phases 2A and 2B have been completed.

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2016 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions Information & Update

The purpose of the 2016 information and update is to provide stakeholders and members of the public a forum in which to provide input regarding the NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service’s and the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Biological Opinion on the long-term operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. Specifically, there will be an opportunity for input regarding the various regulatory actions prescribed by their respective Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives. The review will enable NMFS and USFWS to use lessons learned, incorporate new science, and make appropriate, scientifically justified adjustments to the implementation of the RPAs.

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The Delta on Fast Forward: Thinking Beyond the Next Crisis

The State of Bay-Delta Science, 2016 (SBDS, 2016) is a compendium of scientific papers that synthesize the current scientific understanding of the Bay and Delta, with an emphasis on progress made since the first edition of SBDS was published in 2008. Also, select members of the editorial board prepared a summary for policymakers: The Delta on Fast Forward: Thinking Beyond the Next Crisis. This summary includes seven new perspectives on SBDS, 2016, a suite of tools that are advancing Delta science, and eight forward-thinking actions.

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Independent Peer Review Report: Estimating Net Delta Outflow (NDO): Approaches to Estimating NDO in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Now Online

The State Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is undertaking a four-phased process to develop and implement updates to the Bay-Delta Plan and flow objectives for priority tributaries to the Delta to protect beneficial uses in the Bay-Delta watershed. The SWRCB asked the Delta Science Program to obtain a peer review of the report provided by the Dept. of Water Resources in response to a request for a technical analysis of appropriate methodologies for determining net Delta outflow as a regulatory parameter in the Bay-Delta Plan. 

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San Francisco Estuary & Watershed Science
Volume 15, Issue 1 of the free SFEWS online journal addresses the challenges of setting conservation objectives for birds in the Central Valley. Despite massive losses of habitat, the Central Valley’s wetlands, riparian forests, and grassland–oak savannah woodlands still provide some of the most important bird habitat in North America. Nearly three million ducks, two million geese, and 350,000 shorebirds continue to overwinter in this region, making the Central Valley an internationally important area for migratory waterbirds in the Pacific Flyway. Prioritization of conservation actions in that region for these waterbirds and landbirds is a critical step toward increasing their populations.

Enhancing the Vision for Managing Californias Environmental Information

State of Bay-Delta Science 2008

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Delta Science Fellows Program

Delta Science Fellowships Awarded - The Delta Science Program in conjunction with California Sea Grant awarded Fellowships for the 2017 class to eight outstanding candidates - with funding support from the State and Federal Contractors Water Agency and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Click here for more information.

Grants Program

The Delta Science Program has funded 48 research grants totaling more than $27 million. The Science Program considers funding scientific research to be a critical component in establishing unbiased and authoritative knowledge directly relevant to Bay-Delta actions. This knowledge will fundamentally advance the understanding of the complex environments and ecosystems within the Bay-Delta system to aid policy-makers, managers and other decision-makers.

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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)