DPIIC Initiatives

The Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee (DPIIC) has undertaken several initiatives to support an effective Delta science enterprise*:

The Science Enterprise Workshop held from November 1-2, 2016 in Davis, California, brought together scientists and science-policy experts from across the country to share information about how collaborative science is funded, managed, and communicated in several high-profile and complex ecosystems – the California Bay-Delta, Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Louisiana, Great Lakes, Greater Everglades Ecosystem, and Puget Sound. At the workshop, participants had the opportunity to hear from a wide range of experts highlighting how different regions have developed science management mechanisms to support managers who are working on improving the long-term health and viability of some of the nation’s high-profile ecosystems.

Documents that are not hyperlinked below are available upon request by emailing archives@deltacouncil.ca.gov.

The Science Enterprise Workshop helped inform various Council initiatives, including the:

Recognizing the need for consistent and reliable science funding for best available science and building on discussions from the 2016 Science Enterprise Workshop, this initiative focused on understanding how science is funded, how to improve the tracking of science funding, how to increase funding for Delta science, and whether the current governance structure can efficiently meet current and future science needs. An implementation report and white paper were produced.

This annual reporting of Delta science expenditures, known as the Delta Crosscut Budget, implements a process for collecting data that encompasses all of the Delta science enterprise and includes contributions from many DPIIC agencies.

Since 2018, the DPIIC has been working to examine science funding within the Delta science enterprise with the aim of achieving the following goals in the region:

  • Improve efficiency: Implement common accounting and reporting protocols across funding agencies and coordinate critical review of science funding;
  • Prioritize: Identify and prioritize key management questions for water resilience and science investments that guide the update of the multi-agency 2022-2026 Science Action Agenda; and
  • Look forward: assess the evolving science needs in a rapidly changing environment and publish a science needs assessment.

These reports focus on improving efficiency; as we collect more years of data, the Delta Crosscut Budget Report will help decision makers prioritize future science funding and help us to look forward by identifying where there might be gaps in future funding needs.

New for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, is a pilot effort to collect restoration funding data. This data is presented separately from the science data. Areas for improvement in the collection and presentation of the restoration data — and the science data — will be identified as we adaptively manage the collecting and reporting of this information.

In the face of rapid environmental and climate change, the Science Needs Assessment looks beyond near-term efforts toward future science needs and opportunities in the Delta and Suisun Marsh. Developed by the DPIIC and the Delta Independent Science Board (Delta ISB), the Science Needs Assessment was developed via a two-day virtual workshop which considered the physical, chemical, biological, and human processes, in addition to the infrastructure needed, to integrate and support efforts for developing a bolder Delta Science Strategy that maps out forward-looking science across the Delta science enterprise. Preceding the workshop were four virtual discussions.

Collectively, the discussion series and the workshop considered:

  • What do we know now about future environmental change?
  • What will future decision-makers need to know?
  • What science needs to be done today for decisions tomorrow?
  • What needs to be done to create a science enterprise that can support a changing Delta and Suisun Marsh?

Recordings and Resources

Broad, landscape scale changes are necessary to restore ecosystem functions in the Delta and Suisun Marsh. While coordination between State, federal and local agencies on ecosystem restoration has dramatically improved through forums such as the DPIIC and the Interagency Adaptive Management and Integration Team, slow progress in protecting and restoring the Delta ecosystem reveals an ongoing need to better coordinate plans and actions that contribute to ecosystem restoration.

The 2022 amendment to Chapter 4 of the Delta Plan included ER Recommendation “F” to support implementation of ecosystem restoration, encouraging the DPIIC to:

  • (a) Consider establishing an ecosystem restoration subcommittee.
  • (b) Develop strategies for acquisition and long-term ownership and management of lands necessary to achieve ecosystem restoration consistent with the guidance in Appendix Q2.
  • (c) Develop a funding strategy that identifies a portfolio of approaches to remove institutional barriers and fund Ecosystem Restoration Tier 1 or 2 actions within the Delta.
  • (d) Establish program-level endangered species permitting mechanisms that increase efficiency for Ecosystem Restoration Tier 1 or 2 actions within the Delta and compatible ecosystem restoration projects within the Delta watershed.
  • (e) Coordinate with the Delta Science Program to align State, federal, and local resources for scientific support of restoration efforts, including adaptive management, data tools, monitoring, synthesis, and communication.
  • (f) Develop a landscape-scale strategy for recreational access to existing and future restoration sites, where appropriate and while maintaining ecological value.

With support from the Delta Stewardship Council and the Delta Conservancy, the DPIIC is currently developing a scope and structure for the restoration subcommittee.

* Science enterprise: The broad collection of science programs and activities that exist to serve managers and stakeholders in a regional system. This includes agency science programs, academia, NGOs, and the private sector.

Learn More

Questions about the DPIIC’s past and present initiatives? Please email hello@deltacouncil.ca.gov.