Maven’s Notebook –
The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), the predecessor to the California Water Fix, was conceived as a habitat conservation plan, and as such, was intended to provide benefits to threatened and endangered species that went beyond what would normally be required as mitigation for the construction and operation of the project. These additional actions were identified in the BDCP’s 22 conservation measures.
In the spring of 2015, the Brown administration abandoned the habitat conservation planning approach and instead decided to pursue a traditional permitting approach, splitting the project into California Water Fix for infrastructure and California EcoRestore for the restoration. The EcoRestore program is more narrowly focused than the BDCP’s conservation measures, and only has a five-year timeline.
In June of 2016, the Department of Fish and Wildlife announced its intent to develop the Delta Conservation Framework that would include new implementation and policy guidance in addressing elements of the BDCP that were not included in EcoRestore or WaterFix; guide grantmaking by DFW and others; and inform an ecosystem restoration amendment to the Delta Plan. Council staff plans to use the framework to aid in the development of a proposed Delta Plan ecosystem restoration amendment.