News

August 10, 2018

DWR Releases Environmental Document for the Winter Island Tidal Habitat Restoration Project for Public Review and Comment

Notice of Intent to Adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration for Winter Island Tidal Habitat Restoration Project – The Department of Water Resources is the Lead State Agency under the California Environmental Quality Act and has prepared in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife a Draft Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Winter Island Tidal Habitat Restoration Project.

The Project is located in Suisun Bay between Broad Slough and Middle Slough, just north of the City of Pittsburg, in Contra Costa County. Winter Island sits at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, in the corridor between Browns Island and Sherman Island Waterfowl Management Area. The Winter Island Tidal Habitat Restoration Project is proposed by DWR to restore connectivity to the interior of Winter Island to create aquatic and riparian habitat to benefit native species. Winter Island was formerly managed for duck hunting and currently receives muted tidal flows. The Project will enhance up to 544-acres of tidal wetland, associated high marsh and riparian habitats benefiting listed fish species including Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and Longfin Smelt (Spirinchus thaleichthys).The Project is intended to partially fulfill the 8,000-acre tidal habitat restoration obligations of DWR, contained within the 2008 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delta Smelt Biological Opinion and referenced in the 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service Salmonid Biological Opinion, for long-term coordinated operations of the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.

Public Review Period
The IS/MND is being circulated for public review and comment for a period of 30 days beginning 08/10/18.   Comments on the IS/MND are welcomed and should be submitted no later than 5 P.M. on 09/10/18. Please send comments to:

Department of Water Resources
Fish Restoration Program
Attn: Joy Khamphanh
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, California 94236-0001
manisay.khamphanh@water.ca.gov |  (916) 376-9824

Related Documents: 
Appendix A: Response to Comments
Appendix B: Air Quality Calculations
Appendix C: CNDDB
Appendix D: IPaC List
Appendix E: Cultural Resource Report
Appendix F: Peak Velocity Modeling
Appendix G: Greenhouse Gas Calculations
Appendix H: Salinity Modeling
Appendix I: 90% Design Drawings


May 30, 2018

Fremont Weir Groundbreaking Marks Milestone for Yolo Bypass Fish Passage

Contact:
Niki Woodard, Public Affairs Office, Department of Water Resources
916-653-4161 | niki.woodard@water.ca.gov

Erin Curtis, Public Affairs Office, Bureau of Reclamation
916-978-5101 |  eccurtis@usbr.gov

 

Fremont Weir Groundbreaking Marks Milestone for Yolo Bypass Fish Passage

 Today, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and California Natural Resources Agency celebrated the groundbreaking of a critical habitat improvement project in the Yolo Bypass. The Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project restores an important migration corridor for native fish species and fulfills requirements set forth in the 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service’s Biological Opinion.

“This project highlights the complexity and competing needs of our system. But moreover, it showcases a solution,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “Our work as water managers in the 21st century is to steward California’s diversity and beauty, while also ensuring public safety and water supply reliability. We can no longer choose one over the other. It’s not a trade-off analysis. We can and must ensure that all of our complex projects achieve multiple benefits, guided by a vision of long-term sustainability and public safety amid a changing climate.”

The Yolo Bypass is a critical part of the state’s flood control system, receiving flood waters from major rivers including the American, Sacramento, and Feather. When flooded, the bypass becomes one of the largest seasonal floodplains in the Delta, and a migration corridor for dozens of native fish species including Chinook salmon, steelhead, and green sturgeon.

The Fremont Weir, constructed almost 100 years ago to protect the region from flood waters, poses an obstacle for anadromous fish returning to their spawning grounds. The fish ladder currently in place provides inadequate fish passage, causing migratory delay and loss of life. The Fremont Weir modification project modernizes the structure and widens the channel through which the fish swim to ease their passage to upstream habitat.

This project complies with the 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) Biological Opinion on the Long-Term Operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. The 2009 NMFS Biological Opinion recognized the importance of floodplain rearing habitat in, and fish passage throughout, the Yolo Bypass and requires DWR and Reclamation to complete several projects that accomplish these goals.

“We are pleased to provide the funding for the Fremont Weir construction effort as part of our work under the 2009 NMFS Biological Opinion,” said Reclamation Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo. “The Fremont Weir is a prime example of what we can do when state and federal partners work together for water supply reliability in California. The State Water Project and the Central Valley Project are inextricably linked, and we have to work together, as we have done with this project, if we are to meet the needs of Californians.”

This project is part of a larger vision to restore Delta habitat for native fish and wildlife. Launched three years ago by Governor Edmund G. Brown, the California EcoRestore Initiative is a multi-agency effort to accelerate the restoration of at least 30,000 acres of critical Delta habitat. Six EcoRestore projects are breaking ground this year. Three of the six projects are required mitigation for the State Water Project and Central Valley Project, and the other three support landscape-level tidal and floodplain restoration in the Delta.

“Today we celebrate both the indomitable spirit of California’s native fish, and the indomitable spirit of those working to protect them,” said California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird. “Through large-scale conservation actions, we can begin reversing trends of species declines, and create the healthy environments we all want future generations to experience. This project turns what is primarily a flood control facility into one that serves multiple benefits. May today be but the first celebration in a year full of reasons to celebrate.”

The EcoRestore Initiative represents a deep commitment from a broad range of stakeholders to restore the Sacramento and San Joaquin watersheds in an effort to protect water supplies, ensure public safety, steward our natural resources, and improve salmon runs.

“These types of multiple benefit projects are the future of California water management and demonstrate that collaboration among diverse stakeholders can resolve even the thorniest water challenges,” said John Cain, American Rivers Director of Conservation for California Flood Management.

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Fremont Weir photos and video are available for download.


March 28, 2018

Delta Conservancy Awards $18.9 Million to Nine Delta Projects providing watershed benefits to the Delta region

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy (Conservancy) Board awards approximately $18.9 million in proposition funds to nine projects that will provide watershed benefits to the Delta region. This is the third competitive cycle of the Conservancy’s Proposition 1 Ecosystem Restoration and Water Quality Grant Program, which will distribute a total of $50 million from the voter-approved Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act (Prop 1) of 2014. The Conservancy’s critical role in providing Prop 1 funds to projects contributing to ecosystem improvements within the Delta helps further the California EcoRestore initiative’s goals and the California Water Action Plan.

The Conservancy is advancing a breadth of projects that will contribute to Delta ecosystem viability by:

  • Protecting and maintaining habitat values on working lands;
  • Restoring wetland, upland, and transitional ecosystems;
  • Advancing planning for multibenefit restoration projects; and
  • Eradicating invasive nonnative species.

“It is encouraging to see work ramping up in the Delta, and it is exciting to be able to put Prop 1 funds toward these worthy projects,” said Katherine Miller, Conservancy Board Chair.

The Conservancy will open a fourth grant cycle in summer of 2018 and anticipates awarding funding in the spring of 2019.

Working collaboratively and in coordination with local communities, the Delta Conservancy leads efforts to protect, enhance and restore the Delta economy, agriculture and working landscapes, and environment for the benefit of the Delta region, its local communities, and the citizens of California.

More information on the projects funded can be found here: http://deltaconservancy.ca.gov/prop-1/


December 22, 2017

DWR and Reclamation release environmental documents for the proposed Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project for public review and comment

DWR and Reclamation took steps toward improving fish passage and rearing habitat in the Yolo Bypass with the release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) for the proposed Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project. This represents an important milestone for the California EcoRestore initiative. These documents have been made available for public review and comment. Public comments may be provided in person at public meetings in January or by mail/email. Comments must be received by February 15, 2018. (see more…)


November 6, 2017

Decker Island Tidal Restoration Project Certified – 30-Day Public Review Period Opens

The CA Department of Water Resources (DWR) has certified that the Decker Island Tidal Restoration Project is consistent with the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan. A necessary step for all projects proposed within the legal Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The November 6 certification opens a 30-day public review period.


September 12, 2017

Coalition Formed to Advance the Recovery of Viable Native Fish Populations

The Central Valley Salmon Habitat Partnership, comprised of state and federal agencies, conservation organizations, farmers, water agencies, and fishermen, was recently formed to advance the recovery of viable Central Valley salmon and steelhead populations.  This diverse coalition of partners brings existing salmon and steelhead recovery efforts together, prioritizing projects to support the rebound of these native fish populations.

Working across disciplines, the Partnership will develop science-based objectives and prioritized actions to implement them, to advance the recovery and maintenance of viable, self-sustaining salmon and steelhead populations, and also help restore and maintain robust and commercially and recreationally viable numbers of salmon.  Partnership members will provide expertise on a broad range of issues such as scientific study and securing permits, allowing the Partnership to move from concept to implementation quickly and efficiently.

Learn more about the Partnership and its important mission here.

 


May 15, 2017

DWR and Reclamation Recirculate Draft Environmental Document for Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project

DWR and Reclamation are recirculating for public review the Biological Resources portion (Section 3.5) of the draft Initial Study and Environmental Assessment (IS/EA) and proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for the proposed Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project. The draft IS/EA and proposed MND were previously circulated for public review and comment February 3 through March 6, 2017 (State Clearinghouse Number 201702212).

Public comments are only being accepted on the Biological Resources portion of the draft IS/EA, which is available for review and comment from Monday, May 15, through Tuesday, June 13, 2017. See the public announcement below for more information:

Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project Announcement

Copies of the recirculated draft IS/EA and proposed MND, as well as the original draft documents  are available at the above link.


May 9, 2017

Southport Setback Levee Project Breaks Ground in West Sacramento

West Sacramento breaks ground on its largest levee project on Tuesday, May 9, 2017.  Congresswoman Doris Matsui, West Sacramento’s Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, and Department of Water Resources’ Deputy Director Gary Bardini along with other federal and state flood protection partners are gathering to break ground on the project aimed at  improving nearly six miles of vulnerable levee along the west bank of the Sacramento River in Southport. This multi-benefit project contributing toward California EcoRestore floodplain and riparian habitat restoration goals will be constructed as part of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ West Sacramento General Reevaluation Report process through a partnership to plan and permit the project by the City of West Sacramento and West Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency and the Department of Water Resources.

See the press release on the ground-breaking ceremony here: http://resources.ca.gov/ecorestore/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/WSFP-Southport-Levee-Groundbreaking-FINAL-Media-Release.pdf


May 1. 2017

Delta Conservancy Approves $4.4 Million to Benefit Delta Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Water-Related Agricultural Sustainability

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy (Conservancy) approved approximately $4.4 million for four projects that restore and enhance ecosystems, improve water quality, and support water-related agricultural sustainability in the Delta. The Conservancy provides funding through a competitive grant process made possible by a voter-approved bond measure, Proposition 1 – the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. These projects will count toward the 1,000+ EcoRestore goal of funding restoration projects through Prop 1 and 1E.

“The Delta Conservancy is proud to partner with the organizations implementing these projects to create a more viable Delta ecosystem,” said Campbell Ingram, the Conservancy’s Executive Officer. “Each project is has support from members of the Delta community, and will provide benefits for natural and human communities.”

This is the second round of grants the Conservancy has awarded though Proposition 1, which provided a total $50 million for the Delta Conservancy for the competitive grants. The Conservancy will open a third grant solicitation in August of 2017 and anticipates awarding funding in the spring of 2018. The Conservancy plans to administer at least one grant cycle each fiscal year through 2020.

See full story here: http://deltaconservancy.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Press-Release_round-2_final-draft.pdf


February 3, 2017

DWR and USBOR release public review draft Initial Study and Environmental Assessment (IS/EA) for the proposed Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) have released for public review the draft Initial Study and Environmental Assessment (IS/EA) for the proposed Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project, located in the northern portion of the Yolo Bypass, approximately 8 miles northeast of Woodland in Yolo County.

The proposed project is being carried out to meet requirements in the 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service’s Biological Opinion and Conference Opinion on the Long-Term Operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. The Yolo Bypass, a prominent feature of California’s State Plan of Flood Control, provides valuable rearing habitat for downstream migrating juvenile salmon while also providing a fish migration corridor for adult anadromous fish. Structures within the Yolo Bypass have delayed and prevented adult special-status fish species, such as Chinook salmon, steelhead, and green sturgeon from migrating upstream through the Yolo Bypass and returning to the Sacramento River.

The purpose of the proposed project is to improve fish passage at the Fremont Weir and within the Tule Canal. The project would modify an existing fish ladder at the Fremont Weir and improve fish passage within the channel both upstream and downstream of the Fremont Weir. In addition, one downstream agricultural road crossing would be removed and another such crossing would be replaced with a structure that provides improved fish passage within the Tule Canal. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017.

The proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration and draft IS/EA have been prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act and are available for public review and comment from February 3 through March 6, 2017. Copies of the documents are available at:

Please submit comments in writing or email to either:

  • Karen Enstrom, California Department of Water Resources, 3500 Industrial Blvd., West Sacramento, CA 95691 or Karen.Enstrom@water.ca.gov.
  • Ben Nelson, Bureau of Reclamation, Bay-Delta Office, 801 I St., Suite 140, Sacramento, CA 95814 or bcnelson@usbr.gov.

Written comments must be received by close of business Monday, March 6, 2017. For further information, please contact Karen Enstrom at (916) 376-9778 or Karen.Enstrom@water.ca.gov or Ben Nelson at (916) 414-2424 (TTY 800-877-8339) or bcnelson@usbr.gov.


December 20, 2016

DWR Seeks Proposals for Habitat Restoration Projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (reposted RFP)

Instructions for accessing the RFP Secondary for Habitat Restoration within the Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh…


November 7, 2016

Southport Setback Levee project obtains consistency with Delta Plan covered actions without appeal

southport-levee-picThe West Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (WSAFCA) officially certified without appeal on Monday, November 7th that its Southport Sacramento River Early Implementation Project is consistent with the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan covered actions. Obtaining this certification is a key permitting step for the Southport Setback Levee project, a California EcoRestore effort being implemented by WSAFCA, and the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Division of Flood Management. Once the full effort is constructed this project will yield up to 152 acres of mixed floodplain and riparian habitat as part of a unique opportunity to set back the levee in this rapidly urbanizing area. The levee setback will enhance the ability of the river to meander across the floodplain, distributing soils and nutrients that sustain riparian vegetation and aquatic species.

More information here: http://coveredactions.deltacouncil.ca.gov/profile_summary.aspx?c=99054fee-f0d5-45ee-b322-520d8201b033


delta

WSAFCA Setback Levee Project Clears Council’s Covered Action Process Without Appeal November

 Monday 7

The West Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (WSAFCA) certified that its Southport Sacramento River Early Implementation Project is consistent with the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan, and no appeal was filed with regard to that certification.

This project will involve construction of approximately 3.6 miles of setback levees in the City of West Sacramento along the Sacramento River, which will contribute to the city’s required 200-year level of flood protection.

The project will also restore approximately 150 acres of seasonally inundated floodplain habitat.

To learn more about the Council’s Covered Actions process please click here.


October 12, 2016

Fish-friendly weir will keep salmon in the river, not farm fields

wallaceweir1w-1024x683

By Tanya Perez, October 12, 2016, The Davis Enterprise

YOLO BYPASS — The word of the day was “partnership” as a team of tenacious problem-solvers met Thursday in the Yolo Bypass north of Woodland to check on the progress of a fish-friendly weir being built by local, state and federal officials.

Read More: http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/fish-friendly-weir-will-keep-salmon-in-the-river-not-farm-fields/


October 6, 2016

Project Underway at Wallace Weir to Prevent Straying of Adult Sacramento River Salmon

jrc_wallace_weir-4084Reconstruction of century-old structure provides multiple benefits

YOLO BYPASS, Calif. – Yet another hazard to migratory salmon will disappear soon, when local, state, and federal officials finish building a permanent, fish-friendly weir in the Yolo Bypass four miles northeast of Woodland.

The Wallace Weir Fish Rescue project will help prevent adult Sacramento River salmon from swimming into a drainage ditch that leads deep into farm fields where spawning is hopeless. By building a permanent barrier across the Knights Landing Ridge Cut, the agencies will be able to better control farm drainage releases to avoid attracting salmon. A new fish collection facility adjacent to the weir will allow the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to more effectively capture stray salmon and return them to the river to spawn.


September 19, 2016

Tule Red Tidal Wetlands Restoration Project Groundbreaking in Suisun Marsh

jrc_tule_red_media-6075Public-Private Effort to Restore Tides to Hundreds of Acres of Suisun Marsh

Tidal Wetlands Help Delta Smelt and Other Imperiled Species

From the California Natural Resources Agency:

Local, state, federal, and private industry leaders on Monday kicked off the largest tidal wetland restoration project in the Delta, breaking ground on a project to return salty tides to several hundred acres for the sake of native fish.


September 9, 2016

DWR Seeks Proposals for Habitat Restoration Projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

UPDATE: The current RFP has been cancelled. DWR will re-release the RFP at a later date. When re-released a new announcement will be posted on our website with instructions for accessing the RFP.


August 23, 2016

Prospect Island Tidal Habitat Restoration Project DEIR Available for Public Review and Comment

prosp_island_restor_site_mapDWR has released the Prospect Island Tidal Habitat Restoration Project Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. The DEIR analyzes project alternatives and stakeholder input as part of the environmental review process for the project. There are several ways that you can review or provide input on the DEIR, or learn more about the project: View and download the DEIR by clicking here.


May 22, 2016

Charlton H. Bonham: Brown’s Delta Plan Will Restore Habitat

San Jose Mercury News
Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s announcement of a modified approach to restoring Delta habitat and securing water supplies for 25 million Californians reinforced the state’s commitment to habitat conservation in the Delta.


October 22, 2015

Remarks by CDFW Director Chuck Bonham At Knights Landing Outfall Gates Dedication