Independent Scientific Peer Review of Performance Measures for Delta Plan Ecosystem Amendment

Charge to the Reviewers

At the request of the Delta Stewardship Council’s (Council) Planning Division, the Delta Science Program convened a group of six independent scientific experts to review the proposed performance measures associated with the amendments to Chapter 4 of the Delta Plan (Ecosystem Amendment). The charge to the reviewers provides the specific questions to be addressed in their reports, regulatory background information, and other relevant materials for context and orientation.

Visit the Scientific Peer Review page for additional information regarding independent peer review and advisory panels supported by the Delta Science Program.


The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act of 2009 (Delta Reform Act) requires the Delta Plan to be based on best available scientific information (Water Code section 85308(a)) and includes performance measures with quantified and otherwise measurable targets (Water Code section 85211). These performance measures will enable the Council to track progress in meeting the objectives of the Delta Plan (Water Code section 85308(b)).

Through the Ecosystem Amendment process, the Council is updating its strategic direction for attainment of the coequal goals of protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The Ecosystem Amendment includes a set of six proposed performance measures that will complement an existing Delta Plan portfolio of thirty-two performance measures with quantified targets. Each performance measure has a detailed technical datasheet describing the basis for selection, methods for setting targets, data sources and method of analysis, and reporting for that performance measure.

The independent scientific peer reviewers were charged with evaluating five of the six proposed performance measures:

  1. Datasheet for Doubling Goal for Central Valley Salmon Natural Production PM 4.6
  2. Datasheet for Subsidence Reversal for Tidal Reconnection PM 4.12
  3. Datasheet for Barriers to Migratory Fish Passage PM 4.13
  4. Datasheet for Seasonal Inundation PM 4.15
  5. Datasheet for Acres of Natural Communities Restored PM 4.16

Each reviewer evaluated a subset of the five performance measures and assessed whether the respective measures included quantitative metrics and measurable targets, are based on best available scientific information, and provide appropriate and informative evaluations of progress toward the attainment of the proposed Ecosystem Amendment goals and strategies.


Performance Measures 4.6 and 4.13:

Performance Measures 4.12, 4.15, and 4.16:

View the reviewers’ biographies.

View the transmittal letter from Delta Lead Scientist Dr. John Callaway to the Delta Stewardship Council’s Planning Division.

More Information

For more information and to access the background materials associated with this review effort, please e-mail