Vision 2030 (Strategic Plan)

Vision Statement

Valuing the needs of the Delta as well as the needs of the State is fundamental to achieving the Delta Protection Commission’s vision: the ideal synthesis of cultural, ecological, and agricultural values in a sustainable, healthy, and celebrated way of life.

By 2030, the Delta will be recognized and enjoyed as a prime leisure destination, agriculture and its support services will thrive, and unique “Delta as Place” values will be embraced Statewide, nationally, and worldwide.

By 2030, the Commission will represent Delta interests in development of a water solution for California that ensures water supply reliability to both Delta and outside-of-Delta interests.

The Commission will continue to work to expand and enrich the Delta economy. Protection and enhancement of commercial agriculture in the Delta is essential to the economic sustainability of the Delta as a globally-important source of food production.

The Commission will advocate for the safety and prosperity of the Delta by supporting necessary maintenance and improvements for Delta levees and roads, effective emergency response planning, and flood preparedness throughout Delta communities.

The Commission will secure funding for the Delta Investment Fund, advance investments in Delta communities, and obtain grants, develop partnerships and gain policy support for Commission objectives.

The Commission, through its strong relationships with Delta stakeholders and other agencies, is in a powerful position to promote, educate and advocate for Delta interests. Commission members will continue to deliver balanced, effective, and trusted leadership of Delta interests to supporters and opponents alike, aided by dedicated, professional Commission staff.

Mission Statement

“Committed to the Protection and Health of the Delta”

We protect, maintain, enhance, and enrich the overall quality of the Delta environment and economy. We do this with a focus on agriculture, recreation, and natural resources, while remaining mindful of the importance of the Delta to all Californians.

“The Legislature…finds and declares that the basic goals of the state for the Delta are the following:

(a) Achieve the two coequal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place.

(b) Protect, maintain, and, where possible, enhance and restore the overall quality of the Delta environment, including, but not limited to, agriculture, wildlife habitat, and recreational activities.

(c) Ensure orderly, balanced conservation, and development of Delta land resources.

(d) Improve flood protection by structural and nonstructural means to ensure an increased level of public health and safety.”

Delta Protection Act of 1992, updated 2009 (Public Resources Code 29702).

Strategic Themes

Water

Water is the lifeblood of the Delta. The Delta Protection Commission seeks a reliable fresh water supply for the Delta while remaining mindful of California’s need for water. The Commission insists that a viable California water solution must respect and protect the Delta’s unique values.

Objectives:

W.1 Support Delta water solutions that reduce reliance on Delta fresh water supplies, provide through- Delta fresh water conveyance to protect Delta water quality and water rights, and protect and enhance the Delta’s natural resources, recreation, agriculture, adjacent urban areas, and economies.

1.1 Create or disseminate products (e.g. white papers, videos, brochures, etc.) to inform and educate the public, opinion leaders, and policymakers on the benefit of through-Delta conveyance on water quality, water rights, and regional ecosystem and economy.

1.2 Work with Delta-supportive interests to identify alternative solutions for water supply reliability in California.

1.3 Analyze proposals for addressing water supply reliability for compatibility with Delta values.

Agriculture

The Delta Protection Commission works to conserve agricultural land and economically sustainable agricultural operations in the Delta.

Objectives: 

A.1 Protect and enhance long-term viability of commercial agriculture.

1.1 Support infrastructure projects that promote efficient agricultural operations, accessibility for agritourism, and movement of agricultural goods.

1.2 Promote agricultural crops and cultural practices that reduce or eliminate continued subsidence of Delta peat soil.

1.3 Support diversified approaches to agritourism for the benefit of Delta growers.

A.2 Protect agricultural lands from inappropriate development.

2.1 Implement the Land Use and Resource Management Plan (LURMP) and update it to address current conversion challenges in the Delta, such as proposed industrial-scale alternative energy developments and large-scale habitat restoration.

2.2 Advocate for the use of existing public lands and lands owned by conservation entities for habitat restoration to minimize the conversion of productive Delta agricultural land.

2.3 Advocate for appropriate land usage through the consultation process on Delta Conservancy restoration projects.

A.3 Support wildlife-friendly farming and agriculture-friendly habitat restoration.

3.1 Promote and disseminate “good neighbor” policies to Delta farms and environmental entities.

Levees and Emergency Response

The Delta Protection Commission promotes the protection of life and property through the maintenance and improvement of Delta levees, and emergency preparedness and response. This includes long-term planning for ongoing, cumulative levee improvements to address new issues as they arise.

Objectives:

L.1 Partner with local, state, and federal governments to improve emergency
preparedness and response to protect Delta communities, property, and infrastructure.

1.1 Support development of a Delta-wide Unified Emergency Plan.

1.2 Support Levee Maintaining Agencies in collaborative efforts (e.g. emergency
preparedness and response, levee standards, regional funding, public education, communication) and advocate for inclusion of Levee Maintaining Agencies in levee prioritization and other Delta-wide decision-making processes.

L.2 Advocate for reliable funding for Delta levee maintenance and improvements.

2.1 Seek pro-Delta implementation of levee funding in state bond acts and other
sources.

2.2 Advocate with all agencies to prioritize levee funding for minimum DWR Bulletin 192-82 level of protection for the entire Delta.

2.3 Promote a levee funding strategy that incorporates financial support from
private and public sources, including contributions from previous non-contributors (“beneficiaries pay”).

2.4 Pursue Delta-supported improvements to the Delta Levee Subvention and Special Projects Programs.

2.5 Advocate at the federal, state, and local level to ensure availability of levee repair and recovery funding for damages after Delta flood events.

L.3 Work to ensure that Delta residents are represented in decision-making processes.

Regional Economy

The Delta Protection Commission promotes a robust regional economy that protects agriculture, natural resources and the cultural values of the Delta. The Commission’s Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) is the fundamental document for planning such an economy in the Delta, and is of co-equal significance with this Strategic Plan and should be considered a part thereof.

Objectives:

E.1 Lead the implementation and ongoing updates of the Economic Sustainability Plan.

E.2 Identify regional community needs and opportunities to maximize Delta regional benefits.

2.1 Assess and monitor infrastructure needs for the Legacy Communities and surrounding areas, including recreation and tourism business needs.

2.2 Advocate for necessary infrastructure improvements with state and local government and other partners.

E.3 Facilitate regional economic development projects using the Delta Investment Fund and other funding sources.

3.1 Develop and maintain a plan for Delta Investment Fund spending and seek support for it through state appropriations and other sources.

3.2 Pursue the development of Delta regional economy studies and trend reports to assist with decision-making and funding opportunities.

E.4 Identify and address environmental factors that negatively impact the economic sustainability of the Delta.

4.1 Partner with local government and state agencies to control invasive aquatic species and harmful algal blooms which negatively impact recreation, tourism, and water supply.

4.2 Support and create partnerships to develop consistent, regular sediment management within Delta channels and waterways to benefit recreational boating access, agricultural diversions, and ecological conditions.

E.5 Assist local efforts to improve broadband and cellular phone service in the Delta.

Delta Heritage

The Delta Protection Commission promotes and enhances the Delta’s unique cultural and natural heritage.

Objectives:

H.1 Protect the Delta’s distinctive character and land uses through implementation of the Land Use and Resource Management Plan (LURMP).

H.2 Protect and promote the tribal, cultural, and historical resources of the Delta.

2.1 Implement the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area.

2.2 Advance recognition of the national significance and unique stories of the Delta and support implementation of associated projects, e.g. the Delta Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Corridor and 1883 Clarksburg Schoolhouse restoration.

H.3 Support local governments in preparing and implementing Community Action Plans that emphasize the vitality and preservation of Legacy Communities.

H.4 Promote and enhance the Delta’s heritage of natural resources, such as wildlife habitat, scenic value, soils, and water.

4.1 Facilitate the designation of State Highway 160 as a National Scenic Byway.

4.2 Facilitate habitat restoration and enhancement projects consistent with Delta values.

Recreation and Tourism

The Delta Protection Commission is committed to national recognition of the Delta as a diverse, accessible, modern recreation and tourism destination.

Objectives:

R.1 Partner with public agencies and private entities to increase and expand recreation and tourism in the Delta to all.

1.1 Maintain current Delta recreation resource inventory.

1.2 Identify recreation needs and constraints and apply available resources to meet them, including public-private partnerships and multiple use of appropriate Delta lands.

1.3 Extend the Great California Delta Trail by continuing planning, support, and collaboration efforts.

1.4 Develop partnerships to promote the Delta as a unique destination region to potential visitors, in-state, nationally, and internationally.

R.2 Encourage protection of private lands from unauthorized recreational uses by promoting and educating users on recreational opportunities on public lands and private recreation facilities.

R.3 Promote and encourage Delta-wide coordination and collaboration on boating, boating safety, and related programs.

3.1 Coordinate partnerships that reduce abandoned vessels in Delta waterways by improving title transfer procedures, implementing incentives and penalties to prevent abandonment, and developing abatement funding sources.

3.2 Partner with US Coast Guard, local law enforcement agencies, and others on a coordinated marine patrol strategy that improves Delta boating safety and emergency response.

Education and Outreach

The Delta Protection Commission is the voice of those who live, work and play in the Delta. In this role, the Commission is committed to actively supporting communication between stakeholders and policymakers, creating a forum through which Delta residents and businesses can make their interests heard.

Objectives:

O.1 Ensure consistent, proactive communication between and among Delta interests and decision-makers.

1.1 Develop, implement, and maintain a proactive Delta Protection Commission Communication and Outreach Plan that covers all Commission program areas with a clear message, coordinated with all partners.

1.2 Respond to emerging issues of importance in the Delta in a prompt, effective and transparent manner, with a high degree of flexibility.

1.3 Foster two-way communication throughout the Delta.

1.3.1 Actively seek input and opinions from the diverse populations of the Delta to inform decisions impacting the region.

1.3.2 Provide a forum for residents, businesses, and Delta interests to participate in decisions affecting the Delta.

1.3.3 Foster communication between Delta interests for improved, coordinated action.

1.4 Support an active and engaged Delta Protection Advisory Committee structure, including utilizing expert workgroups, to provide recommendations to the Commission.

1.5 Collaborate with partners on communicating about shared projects (e.g. Delta Awareness Campaign, flood awareness and preparedness, abandoned vessel abatement, and invasive species).

1.6 Collaborate with the science community to enhance the use of social science data in Delta decision-making.

Commission Leadership and Development

The Delta Protection Commission demonstrates effective and efficient leadership by developing and supporting Commission members and providing expert Commission staff.

Objectives:

C.1 Support Commission members, so that each member can operate at their most effective level.

1.1 Develop and implement a Commissioner Orientation program.

1.2 Ensure well-informed and prepared Commission members.

1.3 Provide training to Commission members to help them fulfill the Commission’s appellate function on land use decisions appealed to the Commission.

C.2 Encourage subcommittees as needed to advance Commission Initiatives (e.g. Strategic Plan Subcommittee).

C.3 Recruit, develop, and maintain effective Commission staff.

3.1 Develop and regularly update a Vision 2030 Implementation Plan, corresponding staff Work Plans, and Individual Development Plans to implement Commission initiatives.

3.2 Annually review staffing needs, expertise, and organizational capacity. Evaluate long-term needs for positions and levels of expertise and ensure that staff have necessary resources and training to successfully perform their functions.

3.3 Strive for a diverse and inclusive Commission workplace.

Funding

To accomplish its initiatives to the fullest degree, the Delta Protection Commission seeks to maximize available funding sources to protect and enhance the unique community and cultural values, recreation and tourism, natural resources, and agriculture of the Delta.

Objectives:

F.1 Continuously research, identify, and develop funding sources to support Commission operations and worthy and compatible activities in the Delta.

1.1 Partner with Delta Regional Foundation on programs that support the Delta region.

1.2 Identify and secure funding for Commission priorities by pursuing grants, partnerships, and federal or state appropriations, including the Delta Investment Fund.

1.3 Use federal appropriations granted to the Delta National Heritage Area to leverage additional funding.

(The Vision 2030 Strategic Themes update was adopted at the July 15, 2021 Commission meeting.)

Annual Report

2020 Annual Report

We are proud to announce the release of the 2020 Annual Report. It is our mission to support agriculture, recreation, cultural heritage, and natural resources in the Delta. We continue our dedication to that mission through the ongoing advancement of our Strategic Plan (Vision 2030) while being adaptable to emerging challenges and opportunities.