BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Smelt in Hot Water: Is Thermal Stress the Final Blow for Delta Smelt?

Studies show fall water temperatures may play more of a role in Delta smelt survival than flow augmentation Managing freshwater outflow in late winter-early spring to maintain the Low-Salinity Zone in Suisun Bay has been one of the primary management strategies for supporting Delta Smelt and their habitat. Meanwhile, fall flows have declined over time due to freshwater exports and […]

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BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Dark Carbon and a Return to Abundance: How Detrital Floodplain Food Webs Can Help Recover Endangered Fish

In the pre-development Central Valley, winter-spring flooding once created a vast mosaic of productive wetland habitats that teemed with fish and wildlife. A major driver of this wildlife abundance was terrestrial carbon made available to aquatic food webs when floodplains were inundated. Nineteenth and twentieth-century investments in drainage and a network of dams, canals, and levees transformed the Central Valley’s […]

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BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Monitoring and Managing Sea-Level Rise Impacts on Tidal Marshes in the San Francisco Estuary

Once not all that long ago, the prevailing thought was that if tidal marsh remnants were protected and carefully managed, they would persist for the foreseeable future, providing sanctuary for tidal marsh species that are at-risk due to habitat loss and fragmentation. However, a series of recent independent studies have demonstrated that mature marshes are vulnerable to marsh drowning due […]

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BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Science-Based Regulatory Permitting for Resilient Tidal Habitat Restorations

The permitting of tidal restoration projects is most often a costly and time-consuming process, causing substantial delays in implementation while endangered and threatened species remain at risk. Given the accelerating nature of sea level rise, restoration of tidal habitats that are resilient to climate change should be implemented on a large scale and soon to have any chance of contributing […]

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BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Restoration in the Cache Slough Complex: The Yolo Flyway Farms Restoration Project

The Yolo Flyway Farms Restoration Project involves restoring and enhancing approximately 278 acres of tidal freshwater wetlands at the southern end of the Yolo Bypass within the Cache Slough Complex. The Project seeks to partially restore historical ecological functions in this highly altered regional landscape. The Project will involve minimal excavation of approximately 65,000 cubic yards of soil to provide […]

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BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Franks Tract feasibility study: Applying the guidance of a Delta Renewed

One of the elements of the 2016 Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy is assessing the feasibility of restoring Franks Tract.  The Franks Tract feasibility study was completed and released in June of 2018 by the Department of Water Resources.  The conceptual design for the project relies on the guidance of the San Francisco Estuary Institute’s A Delta Renewed.  At the 2018 […]

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BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Restoration Planning for the Sacramento –San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh: Considering the Implications of Climate Change

The Delta Reform Act requires ‘taking into consideration the physical changes that have occurred in the past and the future impact of climate change and sea level rise’ for restoration planning. Re-establishment of tidal marsh is critical to restoring food web function and increasing the extent of habitat for fish and wildlife within the Delta and Suisun Marsh; however, land […]

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BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Drought Resistance and Resilience in the Delta Fish Community for over 5 Decades

The 2012-2016 California drought was unprecedented in severity. In the San Francisco Estuary, the drought was characterized by elevated nutrient loads, depressed zooplankton densities, enhanced Microcystis blooms, and an expansion of invasive aquatic vegetation coverage. Did wet conditions in 2017 allow the system to return to pre-drought conditions? Furthermore, has the capacity for drought resilience in the SFE changed over […]

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BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: A Review of Water Quality Science in the Delta: Chemical contaminants and nutrients

As part of its charge to review science activities that support adaptive management in the Delta, the Delta Independent Science Board (DISB) has completed a review of the scientific basis for assessing water quality in the Delta.  The review focused on chemical contaminants and nutrients and assessing how water quality information is being used in management decisions, especially for  supporting […]

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BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Drought, climate change, and restoration resiliency

John Durand looks at the effects of the 2012-2016 drought on the Delta from the environmental, economic, and stakeholder perspectives The 2012-2016 drought is one for the records in that, while not necessarily the driest or the longest for California since the state has been keeping records, it was the hottest drought with many scientists saying that we can expect […]

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