Perspectives on Bay-Delta Science and Policy

Michael Healey, Michael Dettinger, Richard Norgaard

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Key points:

  • Seven perspectives derived from SBDS 2016 highlight emerging perspectives on science and management of the Delta.
  • The new perspectives address nutrient and contaminant concentrations in Delta waters, the failure of the Delta food web to support native species, the role of multiple stressors in driving species toward extinction, and the emerging importance of extreme events in driving change in the ecosystem and the water supply.
  • Scientific advances that underpin these new perspectives were made possible by new measurement and analytic tools.
  • Progress toward meeting conservation objectives for the Delta is hindered by a lack of long-term perspective in science and policy.
  • Protection and enhancement of the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place, as required by the Delta Reform Act, has also received insufficient critical study and analysis to date.