Delta Stewardship Council's Delta Plan
Windsurfers in the Delta watch a humpback whale calf suddenly breach nearby.
The Delta Stewardship Council was authorized by the California state legislature in 2009 and is tasked with developing a Delta Plan. From a larger perspective, the council’s primary responsibilities are protecting the water, economy, ecosystems, fisheries and wildlife of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta by meeting the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem protection.
The council is a critical player in state water policy, particularly in regard to Delta diversions and outflow. Former Executive Director Joe Grindstaff outlined the council’s authority and described its “robust” role in California water issues in a letter to the State and Federal Water Contractors Agency.
The Council accepted scoping comments on the Delta Plan and the first Draft Program Environmental Impact Report in late January 2012. The Final Draft Delta Plan is available here.
As three of the Plaintiffs in the Monterey Plus Litigation, C-WIN, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and the Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter to the Delta Stewardship Council requesting that the Council consider reversing the Monterey Plus Amendments in the Delta Plan.
In addition, C-WIN joined 29 other environmental, environmental justice and fishing organizations in submitting joint scoping comments to the Delta Stewardship Council on their Delta Plan and EIR.
C-WIN, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and AquAlliance filed comments on the Recirculated Draft Program Environmental Impact Report for the Delta Plan on January 14, 2013 .
The Delta Stewardship Council approved the Final Delta Plan and Final EIR on May 16, 2013.
In June 2013, a coalition of environmental groups consisting of C-WIN, CSPA, Restore the Delta, the Center for Biological Diversity, AquAlliance and Friends of the River filed a lawsuit against the Delta Plan, contending that it violates the California Environmental Quality Act and other statutes, and that it would irreparably harm the people, fisheries, wildlife, ecological assets and recreational values of the Delta.
Links to documents and comments pertinent to the Delta Stewardship Council and the Delta Plan follow.
C-WIN and allies filed several sets of comments on the first Draft Program EIR for the Delta Plan on February 2, 2012:
Restore the Delta submitted its own comments.
The Central Delta Water Agency submitted separate comments as well.
The Trinity Lake Revitalization Alliance submitted comments.
Rossman and Moore, LLP submitted their own comments.
Because of the number of comments and critical analyses provided in comment letters from February 2012, the Delta Stewardship Council decided to recirculate the Delta Plan Draft Program EIR in late 2012. Comments were due January 14, 2013. C-WIN joined with CSPA and AquAlliance to submit extensive comments on the Delta Plan and its Draft Program EIR.