The Delta Landscapes project: Creating a spatial framework to inform restoration planning
A new report uses landscape metrics in both the historical and contemporary Delta to help define, design, and evaluate functional, resilient landscapes for the estuary’s future
From Maven’s Notebook:
“The state of California has set ambitious restoration goals for restoration of the Delta’s ecosystem as embodied in the Delta Plan; those goals include restoring large areas of interconnected habitats within the Delta and its watershed by 2100, establishing migratory corridors for fish, birds, and other animals along selected Delta river channels; and restoring, and where feasible, increasing migratory bird habitat. Other processes, such as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the biological opinions, and other regional planning processes also envision significant amounts of habitat restoration for the Delta.
But how can restoration of the Delta happen on such a large scale? The Delta in its pre-development days was a mosaic of a wide variety of different habitats, from the floodplains in the north to the tidal marshes in the central Delta to the distributary channel network in the south: restoration will involve creating multiple types of habitat in various patches across the Delta. Furthermore, the Delta is not a blank slate on to which restoration projects can be laid at will; existing land uses have to be considered as well as locations and physical characteristics of the available parcels. … “