The Department of Fish and Game has released a draft conservation strategy for restoration of the Delta, and the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. The strategy was developed to provide a single blueprint that can be used to coordinate resources and regulatory actions. Public comments on the draft will be accepted until Monday, Aug. 22.
What makes the new particularly relevant is mention of the long awaited restoration of the Dutch Slough properties. In 2003 the Department of Water Resources purchased the property to be used as a restoration site. From the study the restoration project is declared a high priority. Unfortunately the study does not has a time line
From the report….
Dutch Slough. Continue the Dutch Slough habitat restoration project. This is a three phase project to acquire and restore a 1,166 acre site adjacent to Dutch Slough and the mouth of Marsh Creek in the western Delta. This project proposes to create tidal marsh and shallow subtidal areas on lands adjacent to the deep open water areas of Big Break, north of Oakley. Due to the expenditure of funds to acquire the properties, the ecological benefits the project is expected to yield, and the unique opportunity that the design of this project gives to experiment with restoration techniques, this is a high-priority project for implementation in the near term. Phase I included the acquisition of three contiguous parcels, which make up the site, and associated site management. Phase II includes detailed design, planning, and environmental documentation for the restoration. Phase III will implement restoration by constructing perimeter flood protection levees and returning tidal influence to a portion of the restoration site. Currently, Phase I has been completed, Phase II is ongoing, and Phase III is in the planning stage. Implementation of this project is expected to help answer a key question of whether an island will support sustainable native fish habitat (i.e., tidal marsh) if it’s surrounded by non-native fish habitat (i.e., shallow subtidal areas at Big Break).