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Workshop - OCAP Integrated Annual Review


Federal Agencies' Detailed Response to the Panel's Report - March 9, 2011

Federal Agencies' Initial Response to the Panel's Report - Dec. 17, 2010

Transmittal Letter from Cliff Dahm to the National Marine Fisheries Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the United States Bureau of Reclamation - Dec. 14, 2010

Independent Review Panel's Final Report - Dec. 9, 2010



Meeting Notice: November 8 and 9, 2010

Background and Purpose

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have each issued Biological Opinions on long-term operations of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) Operations Criteria and Plan (OCAP), (hereafter CVP/SWP; OCAP Opinions) that include Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) actions designed to alleviate jeopardy to listed species and adverse modification of critical habitat. NMFS' RPA requires the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and NMFS to host a workshop no later than November 30 of each year to review the prior water year's operations and to determine whether any measures prescribed in the RPA should be altered in light of information learned from the prior years' operations or research (NMFS' OCAP Opinion, section, starting on page 583). Under direction from the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior this review has been expanded to include a review of the implementation of the USFWS OCAP Opinion.

The intent of the annual review is to inform NMFS and USFWS as to the efficacy of the prior year's water operations and regulatory actions prescribed by their respective RPAs, with the goal of developing lessons learned, incorporating new science, and making appropriate scientifically justified adjustments to the RPAs or their implementation to support 2011 real-time decision making.

Since the OCAP Opinions were issued, NMFS, USFWS and other agencies have been performing scientific research and monitoring in accordance with the implementation of the RPA implementing procedures. Technical teams and/or working groups, including the geographic divisions specified in the NMFS' OCAP Opinion, have summarized their data and results following implementation of the RPA Actions within technical reports. The data and summary of findings related to the implementation of the RPAs provide the context for scientific review regarding the effectiveness of the RPA Actions for minimizing the risk to ESA listed species and critical habitat related to the operations of the CVP/SWP.

At the request of NMFS, USBR and USFWS, the Delta Science Program has assembled an independent review panel consisting of national experts who will review OCAP technical team reports and documents prior to the meeting, participate in discussions with the proponents, provide an independent review of the effectiveness of the implementation of the OCAP RPA actions, and make scientific recommendations for improving effectiveness and measurements of effectiveness.

National Marine Fisheries Service Biological Opinions Page

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion Page

Panel Charge


The review panel will provide balanced, considered, and constructive technical recommendations based on the review charge and information received during the review. This review will focus on the implementation of the OCAP RPAs for operations and fisheries for the time period of June 4, 2009 (date the NMFS' Opinion was issued) through the prior water year for the NMFS Opinion, and October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010 for the USFWS Opinion, and will review:


  1. The effectiveness of the RPA Actions or Suite of Actions in meeting the objectives of the RPAs;
  2. Study designs, methods, and implementation procedures used;
  3. The effectiveness of the process for coordinating real-time operations with the technical teams;
  4. Potential improvements to the RPA Actions for meeting the objectives of the RPA Actions or Suite of Actions.

Review Panel Bios

  • James Anderson, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Ron Kneib, Ph.D., University of Georgia, Emeritus
  • Stacy Luthy, Ph.D., University of the Pacific
  • Pete Smith, Ph.D., USGS retired


  • Panel meeting dates: November 8-9, 2010
  • Panel report deadline: December 9, 2010



Meeting Handouts

Primary Documents Reviewed

Additional reports for the purpose of historical context:



Meeting Agenda

November 8, 2010, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
November 9, 2010, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Park Tower Conference Center
980 Ninth Street, Second Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Day 1 (November 8, 2010)

  1. Introduction
    • Welcoming Remarks Delta Science Program
      Summary of the purpose of the workshop and the Charge to the Panel
    • Opening Remarks: Overview of the biological opinions and the RPA decision-making process
    • Hydrologic/Water Year Review
      Paul Fujitani (USBR) and John Leahigh (DWR)
      Summary of the hydrologic conditions that existed over the previous year


    • 8:00 - 8:10 8:10 - 8:30 8:30 - 8:50


  2. NMFS Opinion - Technical Team and Scientific Study Presentations
    • Review Panel/Presenter Q&A
    • Public Comment Period


    • 8:50 - 9:10 9:10 - 9:40 9:40 - 10:10

    10:10 - 10:20 Break

      • 10:20 - 10:50 10:50 - 11:20 11:20 - 11:50

      11:50 - 1:00 Lunch

        1:00 - 1:30 1:30 - 1:50 1:50 - 2:20 2:20 - 2:50

          2:50 - 3:00 Break

            • 3:00 - 3:20 3:20 - 3:50 3:50 - 4:40 4:40 - 5:00

          Day 2 (November 9, 2010)

          1. USFWS Opinion - Technical Team and Scientific Study Presentations
            • Muddy Waters
              Jon Burau (USGS) Turbidity Monitoring in the Delta
            • Review Panel/Presenter Q & A

            • 8:30 - 9:00 9:00 - 9:20 9:20 - 9:40 9:40 - 10:00 10:00 - 10:20 10:20 - 10:50

              10:50 - 11:00 Break

          2. Final Questions from Panel on Presented Information to All Presenters
            • Review Panel/Presenter Q&A period
            • Public Comment


            • 11:00 - 11:45 11:45 - 12:00

            12:00 - 2:30 Panel to deliberate over lunch

            • OCAP Annual Review Panel's preliminary findings/recommendations
              • Presentation of Initial Panel Findings/Recommendations Review Panel
              • Open Discussion with Review Panel
              • Final Public Comment Period
              • Next Steps
                Delta Science Program


              • 2:30 - 3:30 3:30 - 4:30 4:30 - 4:45 4:45 - 5:00

            Coequal goals

            The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)