New Study Reconstructs the Historical Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
Page layout from the historical ecology study (Source: San Francisco Estuary Institute Aquatic Science Center)
The California Department of Fish and Game has released a landmark historical ecology report on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, looking at how it "has been transformed over 150 years from the largest system of wetlands on the West Coast of the United States into an expanse of farms, levees and channels that support California’s water delivery system."
The report, compiled for the state over several years by the San Francisco Estuary Institute – Aquatic Science Center, is intended to help guide efforts to improve the Delta's ecological function by creating a snapshot of how its natural systems once functioned. According to SFEI-ASC's Senior Scientist Robin Grossinger, the purpose of the study was, “not to go back, but to understand how this landscape worked so we can re-establish ecologically functional and cost-effective habitats within the contemporary landscape,”
The report – and the research behind it – were the basis of an interactive feature co-produced by the Center, SFEI, and KQED Public Media's science and the environment program QUEST.
The full report is available for download from the San Francisco Estuary Institute's website, or for ordering in hard copy.