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2016 California WaterFix Aquatic Science Peer Review Phase 1

This report presents the findings of the 2016 California WaterFix Aquatic Science Peer Review. An Independent Review Panel was convened by the Delta Science Program to provide the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) with an independent scientific evaluation of the methods and approaches for developing the joint Biological Opinion requirements and analyses prepared for the CDFW 2081(b) Incidental Take Permit application for the California WaterFix.

 

The Panel was charged with reviewing: (1) selected sections of the Biological Assessment (BA) that seeks to predict the effects of the WaterFix project on Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species and their designated critical habitats, (2) the draft Analytical Approach to developing the joint Biological Opinion (AABO) and (3) the proposed methods for assessing project effects on Longfin Smelt.

 

After reviewing a set of documents (Appendix 1), the Panel participated in a public meeting in Sacramento, CA on April 5-6, 2016. On the first day of this meeting, the Panel interacted with agency representatives following their presentations on the three topics above. On day 2, the Panel communicated and discussed its preliminary findings to agency representatives and the public. This report summarizes the Panel’s findings and recommendations in full detail.

 

The 2016 California WaterFix Aquatic Science Peer Review is available at https://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/central_valley/WaterFix/2016Cal...

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)