Conservancy in the News

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

Monday, 5/1/2017

WEST SACRAMENTO – 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.

Read the press release here.


ACR Approves Landmark Carbon Offset Methodology for California Wetland Restoration

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 25, 2017Today the American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, announced approval of a new carbon offset methodology to scientifically quantify greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions from the restoration of California deltaic and coastal wetlands. The methodology was developed by a high-profile group of partners — the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy as lead agency and HydroFocus as lead author with technical support from the University of California at Berkeley and Tierra Resources. Funding for the methodology was provided by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), the California Coastal Conservancy, the Metropolitan Water District and California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

The new ACR methodology combines California data and restoration techniques to create a rigorous scientific framework for carbon offset project development. Opportunities are abundant to enhance current land-use practices by restoring wetlands or converting to rice cultivation in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Suisun Marsh, and California coastal areas. Carbon offsets generated by the projects can be sold to corporations to meet their voluntary emissions-reduction goals. Additional sources of offsets are also being considered by California regulators for eligibility in the state’s Cap-and-Trade Program, under which power plants and oil refineries are mandated to reduce or offset their emissions.

Restoration activities that rebuild subsided lands are critical to long-term ecosystem sustainability, are important to reducing the risk of levy failure and sea level rise, and are a significant source of GHG emissions reductions.”  said Steve Deverel, President of HydroFocus.

In the Bay-Delta Area, more than 90 percent of historic tidal wetlands disappeared in the last 150 years. Over 2.5 billion cubic meters of organic soils have disappeared since delta islands were first diked and drained for agriculture in the late 1800s, resulting in land subsidence up to 25 feet below sea level. Drained and cultivated organic soils continue to oxidize, subside and emit an estimated 1.5 to 2 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent annually — equal to annual emissions from over 300,000 passenger vehicles.

Research in freshwater emergent wetlands on delta organic soils shows that carbon capture wetlands are the most carbon-rich landscape per acre. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), DWR, HydroFocus and the University of California at Berkeley have been studying subsidence and GHG emissions of rice and managed wetlands in the delta since the 1980s and have documented very high rates of primary productivity in wetlands.

“State and federal funding remains insufficient to address land subsidence that threatens the California water system, and carbon market revenues could help fill the funding gap,” said Campbell Ingram, executive officer of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy. ”The new ACR methodology provides an incentive to landowners in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Suisun Marsh, and other historically natural wetland areas in California to convert their most subsided and marginal agricultural lands to wetlands or to produce wetlands crops such as rice, which will stop land subsidence and reverse it over time.”


ACR Presents Innovation Award to the Delta Conservancy

SAN FRANCISCO, April 20, 2017 – Last night, the American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, hosted its annual gala reception to recognize and thank its members and partners. ACR Director John Kadyszewski welcomed guests, presented highlights from the year and described the awards to be presented, including the individual Climate Leadership award as well as organizational awards based on ACR’s guiding principles of innovation, quality and excellence.

The Innovation award was presented to the developers of a landmark methodology for California wetland restoration. ACR honored the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy as the lead agency, HydroFocus as the lead author and both U.C. Berkeley and Tierra Resources for technical support for the development of the methodology for the Restoration of California Deltaic and Coastal Wetlands. Funding for the methodology was provided by the California Coastal Conservancy, Department of Water Resources, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Metropolitan Water District and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

In the San Francisco Bay Area, more than 90 percent of historic tidal wetlands disappeared in the last 150 years. Over 2.5 billion cubic meters of organic soils have disappeared since delta islands were first diked and drained for agriculture in the late 1800s, resulting in land subsidence up to 25 feet below sea level. Drained and cultivated organic soils in the delta continue to oxidize, subside and emit an estimated one to two million metric tons of CO2-equivalent annually — equal to annual emissions from over 300,000 passenger vehicles.

We have been pleased to work with ACR and other partners on this methodology and appreciate the recognition,” said Steve Deverel, president of HydroFocus. “Restoration activities that rebuild subsided lands are critical to long-term ecosystem sustainability, are important to reducing the risk of levy failure and sea level rise, and are a significant source of GHG emissions reductions.

“State and federal funding remains insufficient to address land subsidence that threatens the California water system, and carbon market revenues could help fill the funding gap,” added Campbell Ingram, executive officer of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy. ”The new ACR methodology provides an incentive to landowners in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Suisun Marsh and other historically natural wetland areas in California to convert their most subsided and marginal agricultural lands to wetlands, or to produce wetlands crops such as rice, which will stop land subsidence and reverse it over time.”


Spring Delta Waterway Cleanup

Monday, 4/17/2017

WEST SACRAMENTO –   The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy is pleased to announce the spring Delta Waterway Cleanup event. This event is being co-hosted with the Sacramento Area Creeks Council’s Creek Week event.

This year the Delta Waterway Cleanup event will take place at three Delta locations, Lower Morrison Creek, Sherman Island, and Grizzly Island Trail on Saturday, April 29, from 9:00am-12:00pm. Trash items will be counted, photographed, and recorded and the resulting data will be contributed to an online database operated by HammerDirt California, a trash mapping, citizen science nonprofit.

Read the press release here.


Six Takes on Six Years of Drought

Wednesday, October 25, 2016

By Alex Breitler, published October 25, 2016 in The Stockton Record. This story is about the Drought and the Delta Workshop sponsored by the Water Education Foundation and the Delta Conservancy.

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The Delta Conservancy Board Advances 8 Projects Requesting $5.9 Million for Ecosystem Restoration in the Delta

Thursday, 5/26/2016

WEST SACRAMENTO – The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy Board has approved, conditionally approved, or reserved funding for 8 projects that advance ecosystem restoration, water quality, and agricultural sustainability in the Delta. These projects have requested approximately $5.9 million in grant funding. This is the first award cycle of the Conservancy’s Ecosystem Restoration and Water Quality grant program, and Proposition 1 is the first bond funding that the Conservancy has administered since the agency was enacted in 2010.

Read the press release here.


Community Action Plans

Wednesday, 11/11/2015

By C.A. Giacoma, published November 11, 2015, in the River News-Herald and Isleton Journal. This story is about the Delta Protection Commission’s Community Action Plan workshops.

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A New Conversation About Water

Mon, 02/18/2013

by Daniel Weintraub, published February 18, 2013, in the HealthyCal.org newsletter. This article also appeared in the Orange County Register.

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Delta Conservancy Holds Delta Tourism Workshop

Wed, 02/13/2013

by Jarrod R. Kohls, published February 13, 2013, in the River News-Herald and Isleton Journal. This story is about the Conservancy’s February 8, 2013 tourism workshop.

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