By Environmental Scientist Annie Merritt and Environmental Program Manager Dan Constable with the Delta Stewardship Council:
At its June 23, 2022 meeting, the Delta Stewardship Council adopted an amendment to Delta Plan Chapter Four (Protect, Restore, and Enhance the Delta Ecosystem), referred to as the Ecosystem Amendment. The Ecosystem Amendment is the result of a multi-year, iterative effort of public and agency outreach and coordination, and it leverages decades of research and planning to identify a path forward, increase coordination, and work toward a common vision for a restored Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem.
While the main objective of amending the Delta Plan was to provide a framework for achieving restored, protected, and functioning Delta ecosystems, an important component of this framework is ensuring that ecosystem restoration is implemented in a way that enhances the Delta as a unique place — promoting and protecting the Delta’s human communities, including its cultural, recreational, and agricultural values, along with the Delta’s natural resources. The amended Chapter Four promotes implementing restoration in a way that provides direct social benefits to Delta communities, minimizes conflicts to surrounding communities and land uses, and promotes proactive consultation and coordination with Native American tribes.