Last October, Westlands Water District completed construction of the Lower Yolo Restoration Project (Project), which restored and enhanced approximately 2,100 acres of former cattle pastureland in the Lower Yolo Bypass into tidal marsh, riparian, and upland buffer habitat that will provide new sources of food and shelter for native fish, including Delta smelt and salmonids.
Completed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the Project furthers the California EcoRestore goal of advancing 30,000 acres of critical habitat restoration and enhancement in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Project also underscores Westlands’ dedication to cooperative efforts that restore biological functions needed to improve the viability native fish.
DWR recently released a video highlighting the Project and the ways in which it will benefit a wide range of species, including Delta smelt, Chinook salmon, Swainson’s Hawk and Giant Garter Snake. Here are some highlights from the video:
“When we take a piece of property like Lower Yolo Ranch and flood it with water, it’s just deep enough to make the right kind of food that will support Delta smelt.” – Dan Riordan, DWR Program Manager
“The State Water Project and Central Valley Project are large water delivery systems that benefit millions of Californians in the state. But, additionally, we want to be good stewards of the environment in the work we do. And, so as we’re delivering water from the Delta, it’s very important that we also protect the species that live in the Delta … This effort is really looking holistically at how do we do water delivery in a sustainable way – in a way that helps the environment and protects the environment and helps the environment recover.” – Ted Craddock, DWR Deputy Director of the State Water Project.
“This is one of a series of projects that’s being conducted in this region, all of which are going to be connected and all of which will contribute to the recovery of these species.” – Tom Birmingham, Westlands General Manager