Solano County Delta Restoration Work
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is critically important for human and natural communities because of the water resources and wildlife habitat that it provides. However, due to levee construction, water diversion and agriculture, the Delta is a priority location for habitat restoration efforts that also support working landscapes.
Starting in 2012, Solano RCD has received three state grants to conduct habitat restoration and weed removal work in the Delta area, focusing on improving the sustainability of working lands. These grants have resulted in the restoration of over 50 acres with native grass, planting thousands of native trees and shrubs, fencing cattle out of 8 miles of waterways, and treating over 10 acres of invasive Arundo and red sesbania.
Re-vegetation efforts are paired with federal cost-share programs to help landowners install key infrastructural improvements such as cross-fencing and watering facilities, thus eliminating the need for livestock to access these sensitive waterways.
To reach these accomplishments, Solano RCD partnered with a number of different landowners, community groups, as well as local, state and federal agencies. Partners have included Reclamation District 2068, Sonoma Ecology Center, Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Greater Valley Conservation Corps, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy and Solano County Water Agency.
We also partnered with the Center for Land Based Learning to bring classrooms of high-school students to two of our sites, over three years. The SLEWS program engages high school students in habitat restoration projects that enhance classroom learning, develop leadership, and make a difference on the land.
Through our work in the Delta region, Solano RCD and our project partners will demonstrate practical and replicable conservation practices to benefit water, wildlife, and the surrounding agricultural community. Solano RCD has funding through 2020 to conduct restoration efforts, and is in the process of seeking more project opportunities.
The three projects discussed here were funded by the California Department of Water Resources, and the Delta Conservancy via the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (CWC §79707[g]).
Photos show pre- and post-restoration conditions at one of our Solano Delta restoration sites. By fencing cattle out of waterways in combination with restoration, we are able to positively impact water quality and wildlife habitat while supporting local agriculture.