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Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan and EIS Released

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Great Egret (Ardea alba)at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (Credit: Justine Belson / FWS)
The public review and comment period for the draft Bay Delta Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan) began Friday December 13, 2013. The Plan is a proposed 50-year Habitat Conservation Plan and Natural Community Conservation Plan, which seeks to restore 150,000 acres of habitat along with several other conservation objectives.

After 7 years of discussion, research, and review, the 9,000-page plan and the 25,000-page Environmental Impact Report / Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) have been released, which detail 22 separate conservation measures to balance water demands and impacts throughout the region. The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta area is home to more than 500,000 people but supplies water to 25 million Californians, 3 million acres of farmland, and impacts the economies of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Valley, and Southern California. According to the highlights report, over 98% of the historical marsh and sub-tidal habitat have been lost, this coupled with the decline of species like the threatened delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), and concerns over the impacts of climate change, land subsidence, and seismic activity on flood levees and other water flow infrastructure, spurred this project.

The comment period is open until April 14, 2014. Written comments may be submitted by email to bdcp.comments@noaa.gov or by U.S. mail to: Ryan Wulff, National Marine Fisheries Service, 650 Capitol Mall, Suite 5–100, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Twelve public meetings will be held throughout California in early 2014.
DOI Press Release (December 9, 2013) , Draft BDCP Highlights brochure (December 13, 2013)
Additional Document links:
Press Release: State Releases Updated Comprehensive Water Reliability and Ecosystem Restoration Plan
Public Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP)
Public Draft BDCP Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement
Draft BDCP Highlights brochure
Draft EIR/EIS Highlights brochure
How to Comment factsheet
What’s Changed BDCP
What’s Changed EIR/EIS

This article was automatically imported from The Wildlife Society's policy news feed.


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