California state Sen. Lois Wolk (D – Davis), who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Delta Stewardship and Sustainability, welcomed the announcement. “This is exactly the kind of active partnership from the federal government that we need for our efforts here in California to be successful in managing this crisis,” said Wolk.
“I am especially encouraged that the Obama administration recognizes the importance of taking immediate actions and has invited all stakeholders to participate. Frankly, that’s been missing in our efforts here in California. I know that my fellow legislators from the Delta region, as well as the county supervisors from the five Delta counties, are eager to participate in this process and will come to the table with real, practical solutions that can be implemented immediately and in the months ahead.”
In a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the heads of six key federal agencies, the Leadership Committee would develop a Federal Work Plan to address a number of issues prompting early actions, including:
• An interagency science program to provide a common scientific basis for management decisions in the near-term and long-term.
• Habitat restoration projects in the Suisun Marsh and other biologically critical sites.
• Water quality threats to the Delta.
• Flood risk and levee stabilization.
• Projects aimed at mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change on Delta stability.
• A coordinated process for undertaking regulatory actions by federal agencies in the Bay-Delta.
• Recovery Act and other projects the Bay-Delta and areas affected by the Bay-Delta ecosystem and water supplies passing through the Delta.
• Conservation, recycling, and efficiencies in water use and land stewardship activities that benefit the Bay-Delta ecosystem.
The Leadership Committee, in addition to its short- and near-term actions, will also “begin to identify and prioritize key longer-term federal actions and resources to achieve the purpose of this MOU,” the memorandum stated.
“December 15 is just ten weeks away,” said Wolk. “It’s time to get to work, and I look forward to the soonest opportunity to work with our federal partners on real solutions for the Delta.”