The Delta Stewardship Council has completed its review of the Delta Protection Commission’s Economic Sustainability Plan, fully accepting seventeen of the thirty-eight recommendations while not accepting one recommendation and partially accepting eight other recommendations.
The Delta Protection Commission is the State agency charged with planning for land use and management of the primary zone of the Delta. The Delta Reform Act of 2009 tasked the Delta Protection Commission with developing an Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) to inform the Delta Stewardship Council in the development of the Delta Plan. The ESP measures key sectors of the Delta economy and develops strategies to enhance those sectors. The ESP also evaluates the impacts of the Delta Plan on the region’s economic sustainability. The ESP was completed in January of 2012, and was reviewed by the Council the following month. The recommendations continued to be considered during the subsequent development of the Delta Plan.
In the final draft Delta Plan approved by the Council in July of 2012, among those recommendations in the ESP that were fully accepted are those that call for protecting and improving Delta water quality, supporting growth in agritourism, and supporting increased recreation development in specific areas. Also supported are recommendations that levee investments must fully consider the economic value of infrastructure services, and that all owners and operators of infrastructure must contribute to levee system investment and maintenance. Eight other recommendations were partially supported.
The Council also supports the recognition of the Delta as a National Heritage Area (NHA), a designation by Congress that recognizes a region as a nationally important landscape, notable for its cultural, historic, natural resource and recreation values.
However, the Council has rejected the recommendation that all non-project levees be brought up to at least the Delta-specific PL 84-99 standards, citing that “the Delta Plan does not recommend any specific standard for Delta levees, and recommends state funding for levee improvements in accordance with the assets to be protected”. The Council has deferred decisions on the remaining twelve recommendations, but notes that reconsideration may be warranted in the future.
For more information:
- Read the letter to the Delta Protection Commission and review the full list of the Economic Sustainability Plan’s recommendations and the actions taken by the Council by clicking here.
- Read the Delta Protection Commission’s Economic Sustainability Plan by clicking here.
- For more on the Delta Protection Commission, click here.
- For more on National Heritage Areas, click here.