The Lookout Slough Tidal Habitat Restoration and Flood Improvement Project will create approximately 3,100 acres of natural freshwater tidal marsh in the Cache Slough Complex in the northern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, while also increasing the regional flood conveyance capacity of the Yolo Bypass.

Why does this project matter?

This multi-benefit project is being funded by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to create creditable acres for Delta Smelt and other listed species that will satisfy DWR’s obligations under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Biological Opinion related to coordination of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project; and reduce regional flood risk consistent with California’s Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. Once completed, the project will provide critical habitat for multiple sensitive species including Delta smelt, longfin smelt, steelhead, salmon, sturgeon, giant garter snake, western pond turtle, and Swainson’s hawk.

What is ESA doing to help?

DWR contracted Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP) to develop and implement the Project as a multi-benefit project targeting both habitat restoration and flood risk reduction. As a subconsultant to EIP, ESA has provided services since 2018 including 2D hydrodynamic modeling and wind-wave analyses to support the project’s civil and restoration design teams to design intertidal habitat features, a new setback levee, and erosion countermeasures; permitting and technical support through the CVFPB encroachment permit and USACE Section 408 permission process; vegetation colonization surveys and other analyses to support permitting and crediting; cultural resources surveys and permitting support; and preparation of the Final EIR and Final EA required for CEQA and NEPA, respectively. ESA continues to support EIP with restoration engineering and environmental compliance expertise as the project progresses through construction.

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