Coming to a Delta slough near you??! Nutria, once eradicated in California, are making a comeback.
They are kind of cute, except for their ability to eat through a wetlands in record speed, or their penchant for burrowing and destabilizing levees.
These South American rodents usually weigh 20 pounds and outcompete the native muskrat and beaver for food. Plus they are champion breeders. You can identify them by their white whiskers.
The Delta Conservancy just gave CDFW a $1M+ grant for surveillance and eradication efforts to keep them out of the Delta. If you see them anywhere in the state, please report them to:
Suspected observations or potential signs of nutria in California should be photographed and immediately reported to CDFW ONLINE, by email to Invasives@wildlife.ca.gov, or by calling (866) 440-9530. Observations on state or federal lands should be immediately reported to local agency staff. If this species is captured, do not release it, immediately contact your local CDFW office or County Agricultural Commissioner.
The Delta Marketing Taskforce has quietly been working away behind the scenes to develop a 5 year strategy and build a website that promotes California Delta Tourism. As someone who remembers the battle over the logo a few years ago, I find this remarkable. It is a beautiful site.
On places to eat there are over 40 restaurants. Other sections are yet to be filled out. It is a promising start. Check it out.
Volunteers from 2015 having fun cleaning up Delta waterways. (Photo: Kathryn Kynett)
Be part of keeping the California Delta clean. The Delta Conservancy is organizing events on April 29 to clean up parts of the Delta waterways in coordination with Sacramento Area Creeks Council’s Creek Week.
(Photo credits: Aaron Haiman)
The cleanup events will take place from 9am to noon on the 29th of April. The Delta Conservancy will be leading three different sites including a new site in Suisun City. After the cleanup, there is a celebration at Carmichael Park from noon to 2pm.
Contact Aaron Haiman for more information: email@example.com. Ready to volunteer? Register online: http://creekweek.net/vdelta.html
More information about Sacramento County’s Creek Week: http://creekweek.net/
Arundo monoculture along a levee bank offers little wildlife benefit
The Solano Resource Conservation District is working with private landowners in the Cache Slough area to control Arundo. Arundo is a non-native plant introduced to stabilize levees. It provides D+ habitat, so the Delta Conservancy applied for a grant with the Department of Water Resources to work on eradicating non-aquatic invasive plants. The Solano RCD was given funds to work with local private farmers and ranchers to replace Arundo with a complex of native plants along irrigation canals.
In situations where the adjacent land is used for grazing livestock it also requires an investment in fencing and watering troughs to move intensive animal use off the area. This improves the health of the livestock and limits direct access to the ditches to only pulse grazing. The RCD has been working for 4 years now with a few cooperating landowners.The Arundo still wants to come back, so there are no quick fixes. It reminded me of my never ending battle with crabgrass in my garden. At the same time the native plants are getting established and doing quite well even in the drought.
This conservation practice, if applied on a larger scale, could have a larger beneficial impact to the health of the sloughs and waterways in the Delta. Already you see more bird life and other critters.
An irrigation ditch before livestock fences are built to control access.
This is a great example of how incentives for private landowners helps to offset the costs of changing how they do business. These changes are a win-win-win for everyone: better livestock, better environment, better soil and water management. And that is a win for all of us.
After fencing and restoration.
The Delta Conservancy and the Delta Protection Commission engaged the creative people at Augustine Ideas to research and develop possible logos that will “brand” the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. The challenge is designing a logo that resonates with residents and is inviting to people outside the region. Four ideas have been developed to express: “At the heart of California, the Delta is an undiscovered place to escape, explore and wander. Rare and special–an abundance of natural resources, to be cared for and appreciated.”
The four logos are in a PDF here
. You can provide feedback in a survey here
This will be available to brand products and services that originate from the Delta–from wine to boating adventures. It may also be used if California’s Delta receives a National Heritage Area designation.
It is distinct from the Discover the Delta brand that is associated with the Discover the Delta Foundation and visitor’s center in Rio Vista.
Discover the Delta’s logo is on the sign in the foreground.
Resolution: Discover the Delta in 2014.
Visit their website for a calendar of events, a Delta t-shirt and more.
Most residents of the Delta have been happy to be left alone for so long. With 5 county boundaries divvying up the region, “the Delta” is not the focus of any county’s economic development. California’s tourism promotion is divided between the Bay Area and the Central Valley (even “Gold Country” by State Parks). This strategy may not be the best for the future as the State is knocking on the door with the Bay Delta proposal.
Change may not be welcome, though it is inevitable. Two of the agencies that make up the Delta alphabet soup are collaborating with residents to develop a “Delta Brand”: the Delta Protection Commission and the Delta Conservancy. There are already some marketing efforts in various parts of the region–with a “farm trail” in Sacramento County and parts of Contra Costa County, and a hub of wineries in Clarksburg in Yolo County. These efforts may benefit from something coordinated region-wide.
You can read more about it in the article in the Stockton Record.
Sacramento County Supervisor Jimmie Yee, a Delta Conservancy Board member, thanked the 20 or so members of the public for attending a workshop on the draft strategic plan at the Clarksburg Community Church hall.
The Delta Conservancy was formed as part of the 2009 Legislative package called the Delta Reform Act. The Delta Conservancy’s purpose is to promote balanced ecosystem restoration and economic development in the Delta. They recently released the draft strategic plan and invited public comment. The strategic plan is found on the website: http://www.deltaconservancy.ca.gov/docs/Delta_Conservancy_StratPlan_Draft_Version_for_Public_Comment_0326012.pdf. Comments are due by April 20, 2012.
Campbell Ingram, executive officer for the Delta Conservancy, encouraged members of the public to read the goals and strategies carefully. He urged that feedback on these is welcome anytime.
The Delta Conservancy is a state agency within the State’s Natural Resources Agency. It has a small budget now, but hopes through a combination of entrepreneurial fundraising and a future water bond to have more money for grant programs and projects.