Fish Restoration Program issues update on nine Delta restoration projects

From the Fish Restoration Program:

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fish Restoration Program (FRP) addresses specific habitat restoration requirements of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) biological opinions (Biological Opinions) for State Water Project (SWP) and Central Valley Project (CVP) operations.

IN THIS E-NEWS: FRP PROJECT UPDATES

Delta Project Updates
The following FRP projects are intended to help fulfill DWR’s 8,000-acre tidal habitat restoration obligations required by the 2008 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delta Smelt Biological Opinion for long-term coordinated operations of the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.

Decker Island
The Fish Restoration Program acquired approximately 140 acres on Decker Island in 2015 for tidal wetland restoration. The goal of the Decker Island Project is to restore unrestricted tidal connectivity to the interior of Decker Island to create a tidal wetland and associated high marsh, and riparian habitats on the site to benefit native fish species. Negotiations over flowage easements for the Decker Island property are in progress and DWR is preparing for project construction in 2018.

Questions about the Decker Island project should be sent to the project manager, Ling Chu ( Ling-ru.Chu@water.ca.gov).

Prospect Island
The Prospect Island Tidal Habitat Restoration Project will determine how Prospect Island will be used to provide habitat for species of concern under the Fish Restoration Program.

DWR plans to finalize the Prospect Island Tidal Habitat Restoration Project Environmental Impact Report (EIR) this fall or early 2018, contingent upon the availability of staff who have adopted additional duties to support the priority Lake Oroville Spillways Recovery Project.

The EIR will consider comments received during the environmental review process and will analyze potential impacts of a reasonable range of alternatives that could avoid or minimize adverse impacts. To download the Draft EIR and learn more information about its findings, visit the FRP Prospect Island Tidal Habitat Restoration Project webpage here.

Questions about the Prospect Island project should be sent to the project manager, Ling Chu ( Ling-ru.Chu@water.ca.gov).

Winter Island
The Fish Restoration Program acquired approximately 589 acres on Winter Island in 2016 for tidal wetland restoration. DWR is planning to implement the Winter Island Tidal Habitat Restoration Project which will restore tidal connectivity to the interior of Winter Island to create aquatic habitat at intertidal and shallow sub-tidal elevations, associated high marsh, and riparian habitats on the site to benefit native fish species.  DWR has completed a preliminary design and is beginning the permitting process.

Questions about the Winter Island project should be sent to the project manager, Joy Khamphanh ( manisay.khamphanh@water.ca.gov).

Yolo Flyway Farms
The Yolo Flyway Farms Tidal Habitat Restoration Project goal is to restore approximately 283 acres of wetland to tidal habitat and to accommodate sea level rise through the enhancement of transitional uplands. Initial restoration construction is expected to begin in August 2018.

Questions about the Yolo Flyway Farms project should be sent to the project manager, Bonnie Irving ( bonnie.irving@water.ca.gov).

Suisun Marsh Project Updates
In addition to contributing to the 2008 USFWS BiOp requirements, projects in the Suisun Marsh are intended to help fulfill DWR’s 800-acre tidal habitat restoration obligation required by the 2009 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Incidental Take Permit for State Water Project operations.

Arnold Slough
The Arnold Slough Tidal Habitat Restoration Project goal is to restore approximately 161 acres of dyked wetland to tidal wetland. The Arnold Slough Restoration Project was historically flooded seasonally for use by a duck club. Through a leaseback agreement with the former landowners, DWR will manage the property for recreational purposes until 2019. Project construction will begin in summer 2019 following the termination of the current lease agreements.

Questions about the Arnold Slough project should be sent to the project manager, Elaine Jeu ( elaine.jeu@water.ca.gov).

Chipps Island
DWR recently acquired the northern and eastern parcels of Chipps Island (657 acres).  DWR will coordinate with Metropolitan Water District, which owns the western third of the island, to design a tidal restoration project incorporating the entire island.  Early surveys necessary to begin design work will occur fall 2017.

Questions about the Chipps Island project should be sent to the project manager, Ling Chu ( Ling-ru.Chu@water.ca.gov).

Bradmoor Island
The Bradmoor Island Tidal Habitat Restoration Project goal is to restore the exterior of approximately 500 acres of managed wetland to tidal habitat. Via a lease agreement with the former landowners, DWR will manage the property for recreational purposes until 2019. Restoration project construction is expected to begin in fall 2020.

Questions about the Bradmoor Island project should be sent to the project manager, Caitlin Roddy ( caitlin.roddy@water.ca.gov).

Tule Red
The Tule Red Tidal Habitat Restoration Project goal is to restore approximately 662 acres of managed wetlands to tidal habitat. The State and Federal Contractors Water Agency (SFCWA) is undertaking the Tule Red Tidal Habitat Restoration Project in conjunction with FRP. In mid-September 2016, SFCWA started construction of the initial restoration activities. Due to contracting challenges, the project will be delayed one year, and project completion is anticipated in 2019.

Questions about the Tule Red project should be sent to the project manager, Ling Chu ( Ling-ru.Chu@water.ca.gov).

Wings Landing
The Wings Landing Tidal Habitat Restoration Project goal is to restore an estimated 190 acres to tidal marsh habitat. Initial restoration construction is expected to begin in September 2018.

Questions about the Wings Landing project should be sent to the project manager, Bonnie Irving ( bonnie.irving@water.ca.gov).

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Contact:
Dan Riordan, Chief
Fish Restoration Program
California Department of Water Resources
frpa@water.ca.gov
Visit FRP on the web

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