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Science Spotlight

Estuary News Magazine cover image for June 2019 issue.

Now Available: June 2019 Issue of ESTUARY News

The latest issue of ESTUARY News Magazine features stories on North Delta wildlife, extreme measures for near-extinct Smelt, green infrastructure, and more. The Delta Stewardship Council is a core funder of this quarterly publication, which reports on a wide range of Delta and San Francisco Estuary watershed news. It is available in print and online.

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Aerial of Delta farmland.

Now Available: June 2019 Issue of SFEWS

Published on June 17, the latest issue of San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science Journal features articles on wetland monitoring, Delta water budgets, outflow and salinity, and water hyacinth. Also included is an essay titled “Ten Essential Bay-Delta Articles”, which highlights seminal articles that provide a “sense of the historical development of scientific understanding in the Bay-Delta” curated by Louise Conrad, Steve Culberson, and Ted Sommer.

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Tule Red restoration project in Solano County.

Now Available: Delta Conservation Adaptive Management Action Strategy

The Delta Science Program and the Interagency Adaptive Management Integration Team have released a near-term adaptive management strategy that aims to integrate existing resources and cut across individual agency missions to support adaptive management efforts in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The strategy is based on the Delta Plan’s Adaptive Management Framework and presents a series of actions to support adaptive management of conservation activities in the Delta.

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Map of the Bay-Delta.

New Brown Bag Seminar Series: Integrating the Bay and Delta

There has been an ongoing conversation about the importance of thinking about the San Francisco Estuary holistically as a connected system, rather than siloing the Bay, Delta, and watersheds. While there are governance barriers to managing the system as one, scientifically speaking it is important not to ignore the influence they have on each other. The purpose of this brown bag series is to contribute to the conversation about Bay-Delta linkages. Ongoing management efforts focused on water quality issues will be used as a way to explore the challenges and benefits related to thinking of the system as one.

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The Delta Science Program was established to provide scientific information and syntheses for the state of scientific knowledge on issues critical for managing the Bay-Delta system. This knowledge must be unbiased, relevant, authoritative, integrated across agencies, and communicated to stakeholders. The Delta Science Program supports the Delta Plan by promoting adaptive management and the use of best available science. The Delta Lead Scientist is responsible for leading, overseeing, and guiding the Delta Science Program. The Interagency Ecological Program Lead Scientist is housed within the Delta Stewardship Council and regularly works with the Delta Science Program to identify, track, and explain the status and needs of Bay-Delta science.



The mission of the Delta Science Program shall be to provide the best possible unbiased scientific information to inform water and environmental decision-making in the Delta. That mission shall be carried out through funding research, synthesizing and communicating scientific information to policy-makers and decision-makers, promoting independent scientific peer review, and coordinating with Delta agencies to promote science-based adaptive management. The Delta Science Program shall assist with development and periodic updates of the Delta Plan's adaptive management program. Delta Reform Act 2009, Water Code section 85280(b)(4).



Research Funding and Fellowships

The Delta Science Program funds scientific research critical to establishing unbiased and authoritative knowledge directly relevant to Delta management actions. This knowledge will fundamentally advance the understanding and management of the complex environments and ecosystems within the Bay-Delta system.


Scientific Peer Review

The Delta Science Program is a leading coordinator of independent scientific peer review. The peer review process uses independent scientific experts and established guidelines to provide credible and legitimate science for water and environmental decision-making.


Science Synthesis

The Delta Science Program performs analysis and synthesis of scientific information to report on status and trends of key scientific issues within the Delta. These products update the scientific state of knowledge, identify science needs and data gaps, and guide adaptive management. The Delta Science Program serves as both facilitator and author of syntheses.


Adaptive Management

Adaptive management is a science-based, structured approach to improving our understanding of the problems and uncertainties of environmental and water management. The Delta Science Program works with other agencies and organizations that are planning and implementing adaptive management for programs and projects. Our objective is to provide support and leadership for the use of science-based adaptive management to achieve the coequal goals.


Science Communication

Communication is essential to building the Delta science community and delivering pertinent information to scientists, decision-makers, the attentive public, and other stakeholders. Effective science communication transforms information into knowledge, and knowledge into action. The Delta Science Program communicates science through hosting events, supporting various publications, and generating outreach materials.


Delta Independent Science Board

The Delta Science Program provides the staff, logistical, and financial support necessary for the Delta ISB to carry out its legislative mandate of providing oversight of the scientific research, monitoring, and assessment programs that support adaptive management of the Delta. The Delta ISB reviews span the natural, physical, and social sciences.



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)