GRIZZLY BAY, Calif., Oct. 7, 2019 — Local, state, federal, and private industry leaders will gather on October 15th to celebrate the completion of a unique tidal wetland restoration project in the Delta. The project, known as Tule Red Restoration Project, is a joint effort by the State and Federal Contractors Water Agency (SFCWA), Westervelt Ecological Services (WES) and the Department of Water Resources (DWR). The celebration will mark the final step in the restoration process-the breaching of a levee to return brackish tidal water to over 400 acres habitat for the sake of dwindling native fish populations including Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Chinook salmon and the food web that supports them.
WES is the landowner and project manager on behalf of SFCWA. SFCWA is a joint powers authority comprised of the public water agencies that contract for delivery of water from the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project. Under directives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, DWR is obligated to restore at least 8,000 acres of tidal wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for the benefit of fish impacted by the water project operations. Funds from public water districts across California that depend upon the delivery of Delta water from the State Water Project will pay for the project.
The Tule Red project also advances California EcoRestore, which seeks to restore at least 30,000 acres of habitat within the Delta and Yolo bypass ecosystem.
“The Department of Water Resources and its partners are all driven to restore natural ecological function in the Delta and ensure the land works for people, fish, and wildlife,” said Ted Craddock, Acting Deputy Director of DWR’s State Water Project. “Tule Red is a landmark restoration project and its success is the result of exceptional performance by the State and Federal Contractors Water Agency and Westervelt Ecological Services.”
Under an agreement with SFCWA, WES has provided ongoing land stewardship, restoration design, permitting, and construction oversight services. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which currently owns and manages a portion of the site will take over management of the remainder with ongoing funding from DWR for operations and maintenance. Construction on the Tule Red project began in 2016.