What the BDCP Will Do:
- Provide for a more reliable water supply for California by modifying conveyance facilities to create a more natural flow pattern.
- Provide a comprehensive restoration program for the Delta.
- Provide the basis for permits under federal and state endangered species laws for activities covered by the plan based on the best available science.
- Identify sources of funding and new methods of decision-making for ecosystem improvements.
- Provide for an adaptive management and monitoring program to enable the plan to adapt as conditions change and new information emerges.
- Streamline permitting for projects covered by the plan.
What the BDCP Will Not Do:
- Solve all environmental challenges in the Delta.
- Address all factors (such as ocean conditions) that may affect covered species.
- Eliminate other permitting requirements.
The BDCP approach to addressing the Delta’s challenges reflects a significant departure from the species-by-species approach utilized in previous efforts to manage Delta-specific species and habitats. Instead, the BDCP seeks to improve the health of the ecological system as a whole. Each conservation measure plays a part in an interconnected web of conservation activities designed to improve the health of natural communities and, in so doing, improve the overall health of the Delta ecosystem.
The purpose of the Plan is regulatory in nature. In the most basic sense, the BDCP provides a regulatory vehicle for project proponents to agree to implement a suite of habitat restoration measures, other stressor reduction activities, and water operations criteria in return for regulatory agency approval of the necessary long-term permits for the various projects and water operations (covered activities) to proceed.
The BDCP attempts to balance contributions to the conservation of species in a way that is feasible given the variety of important uses in the Delta including flood protection, agriculture, and recreation, to name a few. The Plan is undergoing intensive environmental review—in the form of a state EIR and federal EIS—to evaluate the impact of the Plan on all aspects of the environment, including the human environment, and identify alternatives and potential mitigation actions.
Implementation of the Plan will occur over a 50-year time frame by a number of agencies and organizations with specific roles and responsibilities as prescribed by the Plan. A major part of implementation will be monitoring conservation measures to evaluate effectiveness, and revising actions through the adaptive management decision process.