The Delta, with its peat soils and wealth of fresh water, represents only 4% of the cultivated farmland in California. Over 80% of Delta farmland is classified Prime by the USDA, the richest soil in the State.  Agriculture was the reason for the Delta’s original reclamation, and remains the predominant land use for the region. The Delta Protection Commission works to conserve agricultural land and economically sustainable agricultural operations in the Delta. Activities include; support for the Rural-Urban Connection Strategies (RUCS) project, protecting agricultural lands from inappropriate development, past assistance for wildlife-friendly farming, and pursuing habitat restoration in an agriculture-friendly way.

Rural-Urban Connection Strategies (RUCS)

In the 2012 Economic Sustainability Plan, the Commission identified the rising demand for locally grown food as an opportunity for Delta counties to exploit the proximity of their agricultural regions to the dense urban populations of Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area, and maximize their potential as agricultural suppliers in a local food system.  As a result, the Commission contracted separately with SACOG and the Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development on RUCS projects.

In 2015, the Delta Protection Commission partnered with Contra Costa County to develop an analysis of the agricultural economy in the Delta Primary and Secondary zones of Contra Costa County and to understand what the potential opportunities are to support agriculture.

In 2016, the Delta Protection Commission partnered with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments to develop the Rural-Urban Connection Strategies (RUCS) project. The RUCS is an analysis pioneered by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) to look at a region’s growth and sustainability objectives from a rural perspective, facilitating the development of economic and environmental sustainability strategies for rural areas.