Delta Stewardship Council
The Delta Reform Act of 2009 established the Delta Stewardship Council, an independent state agency created to further achieve the coequal goals as defined in the Delta Reform Act: “‘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)
The Delta Reform Act charges the Council with creating a legally enforceable long-term management plan for the Delta that is based on the best available science and includes adaptive management strategies for ecosystem restoration and water management decisions. The Council is also directed to ensure implementation of the Delta Plan by facilitating, coordinating, and providing oversight of State and local agencies’ activities in the Delta. The Act also enumerates other specific authorities for the Council, including commenting on environmental impact reports, advising local governments, and determining if covered actions are consistent with the Delta Plan upon appeal.
The first iteration of the Delta Plan, adopted unanimously by the Council in May of 2013, contains 73 recommendations and 14 regulatory policies. The regulatory policies were subsequently approved by the Office of Administrative Law and became legally enforceable on September 1, 2013. Implementation of the plan began in April of 2014 with the first meeting of the Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee, a committee comprised of federal and state officials who lead the agencies responsible for implementation of the plan’s policies and recommendations.
The Council is comprised of seven members which are intended to have diverse expertise and reflect a statewide perspective. The Governor appoints four members, the state Senate and Assembly each appoint one member, and the seventh is the chair of the Delta Protection Commission. Click here for a list of current members of the Council.
The Delta Stewardship Council is advised by the 10-member Delta Independent Science Board, a panel of nationally and internationally recognized scientists that provide oversight of scientific research, monitoring and assessment of programs underway by conducting periodic reviews of these program and advising the Council. Members of the Delta ISB are appointed by the Council for five-year terms. For more on the Delta Independent Science Board, click here.
The Council meets on the fourth Thursday of the month generally in the conference room at 980 Ninth Street, although locations can sometimes change. Council meetings are webcast.
Visit the Delta Stewardship Council online at www.deltacouncil.ca.gov.
Coverage of the Delta Stewardship Council meetings on Maven’s Notebook