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Yolo Bypass Salmon Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Analytical Tool Independent Scientific Review
Letter from the United States Bureau of Reclamation to Dr. Cliff Dahm requesting the Delta Science Program conduct an Independent Scientific Peer Review of Analytical Tools for the Yolo Bypass Salmon Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project (May 3, 2017)
NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have each issued a Biological Opinion (BiOp) on the long-term operations of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) that include Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPA) designed to alleviate jeopardy to listed species and adverse modification of critical habitat. NMFS’ RPA requires the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to increase juvenile floodplain rearing habitat and improve adult fish passage for ESA-listed salmonids and sturgeon.
Reclamation and NMFS have benefited from previous Delta Science Program (DSP)-facilitated reviews of studies, models, and tools being utilized to assess the effects of requirements implemented as part of the RPA.
The intent of the Yolo Bypass Analytical Tools Independent Scientific Peer Review is to provide scientific perspectives for the action and regulatory agencies on the best available science for evaluating alternatives being considered in the Yolo Bypass Fish Passage and Habitat Restoration Program Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) and Biological Assessment (BA). The goal is to obtain independent and external evaluation of these analytical tools, to ensure new scientific analytical tools and associated assumptions are being appropriately used, and ensure results are appropriately interpreted for evaluating alternatives.
Charge to the Independent Review Panel:
The charge to the panel provides the orientation and focus, materials to be reviewed and specific questions for the panel to start the review process. It provides the direction, context and timeline for the review.
Review Panel Members:
- James Anderson, Ph.D., University of Washington (Panel Chair)
- Mark Tompkins, Ph.D., FlowWest LLC (Lead Author)
- Peter Goodwin, Ph.D., P.E., University of Maryland
- Gregg Ruggerone, Ph.D., Natural Resources Consultants, Inc.
- Cameron Speir, Ph.D., NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center
- Josh Viers, Ph.D., University of California Merced & Pacific Agroecology LLC
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)