DPAC Minutes 2023-04-04

Meeting Notes (APPROVED)

Delta Protection Advisory Committee Meeting

April 4, 2023, 5 PM

1. Call to Order/Flag Salute/Welcome – Mariah Looney, DPAC Chair

Mariah Looney called the meeting to order at 5:02 PM.

2. Public Comment

There were no comments from members of the public.

3. Approve November 1, 2022 and February 7, 2023 meeting notes

The Committee moved (Ryan) and seconded (Pellarin) to accept the meeting minutes. The motion passed.

4. Election of officers 2023-2024 – The Committee

Ms. Looney shared that she is not running for re-election due to the time commitment. She nominated member Ryan as the chair.

Committee members expressed concerns with the nomination as Mr. Ryan is an employee of the Metropolitan Water District. Committee member Swenson announced that she would also like to run to serve as Chair. Ballots were passed to committee members and counted by the Executive Director. Ms. Swenson won on a 6-2 vote.

Aaron nominated Mr. Ryan as Vice Chair. Russ accepted the nomination. The vote was unanimous.

5. Update on Clean California Sign program – Kirsten Pringle, Senior Environmental Planner

The DPAC members had the following questions and comments on the Clean California Sign program:

Locations for Interpretive Signs

  • Bouldin Island has a location that would be good for an interpretive sign. Suggested having sign on sandhill cranes. Could work with the local Reclamation District to add binoculars.
  • Find locations first and then design signs to match those locations.
  • Add interpretive sign to Farmers Market at the corner of SR-160 and SR-12
  • Add sign in Stockton (follow-up with Mariah)
  • Location at end of Paintersville Bridge
  • Ask Delta Leadership Program for suggestions
  • Label signs by numbers to help individuals navigate around the Delta (e.g. Bridge #1, Bridge #2)

Topics for Interpretive Signs

  • Like idea of marketing legacy towns
  • Add QR code that brings up map of where other interpretive signs are
  • Incorporate NHA Designs /Locations for Wayfinding Signs
  • Prefer the thicker, turquoise signage. Suggested looking at examples of wayfinding signs in Lodi.
  • Look at Farm Trail signs created by Steamboat Acres.
  • Add icon for recreation – RVs, marinas, boats
  • Add wayfinding sign on SR4 directing people to Windmill Cove Sign Maintenance
  • Consider Adopt-a-Sign Program
  • Consider asking RDs to help maintain signs

6. Update on Sac/SJ River Delta National Heritage Area Management Plan – Blake Roberts, Program Manager 1

Blake shared an update on NHA contracting and the NHA Management Plan.

Mariah asked what the process would be to add Stockton to the NHA.

Aaron asked whether there is a cost to participate in the NHA.

7. Discussion of Delta Levee Funding – Bruce Blodgett

Blodgett announced that a standing item has been added to the DPAC agenda to discuss funding and maintenance for Delta levees.

Ryan stated that he reviewed the proposed bills regarding funding for climate resiliency and flood management. He believes there is not enough funding for Delta levees. He shared that he is working with a team to modernize the Delta’s levee system. The project also addresses climate resiliency and sea level rise. Metropolitan Water District is working with a coalition of agencies, including agencies in SoCal, to implement the project. The Northern California Water Association has offered to author the bill.

Looney shared that Restore the Delta and other agencies wrote a letter to Senator Eggman on SB 638. The letter requested putting language in the bond about protecting Delta communities. It also requested a meeting in the Delta on the criteria for the bond measure funding.

Gil Casio shared that the Central Valley Flood Control Association is trying to keep the $1B in funding for levees in the bond in the Delta levee programs (Subventions and Special Projects).

Ryan shared that tools are important.

Swenson stated that someone (maybe DWR) has installed some sort of gauge on the levees in the North Delta. Believe it might be to measure seismic activity. Would like to learn more.

8. Receive update on Delta Protection Commission activities – Bruce Blodgett

Blodgett shared that the next Commission meeting will be on May 18 at Big Break Regional Shoreline. The Commission will approve the DPAC appointments at the meeting. A regular item has been added to the Commission agenda about Delta as Place. The Commission is looking for speakers to talk about Delta issues. At the next meeting, the Delta Leadership Program will be presenting at their class project.

Looney asked about the Delta Tribe/Other Org seat. She supports adding a seat for Delta tribes, but not in place of other orgs. Restore the Delta has worked hand-in-hand with Delta tribes.

Blodgett shared that he and Blake Roberts met with Delta legislators in Washington D.C. to discuss the NHA.

Blodgett shared that the Commission has submitted a comment letter on the Delta Conveyance Project Draft EIR and EIS.

Looney suggested developing a text-based emergency alert system for the five counties in the Delta. She stated that there is a similar system in the Napa/Sonoma/Lake Counties region that uses Nixel (sp.). Emergency alerts in San Joaquin County are lacking. Many in the Delta do not have internet or smart phones, just regular phones.

Rep Cox stated that he listened to the State Water Resources Control Board public listening session on the Bay-Delta Plan. He suggested the DPAC ask the Commission to write a letter to the Board on the Bay-Delta Plan. Mariah noted that SB 687 would force the Board to update the Bay-Delta Plan before any action could be taken on the Delta Conveyance Projects. SB 687 is currently in the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Restore the Delta is working with Senator Eggman’s office on the legislation. Looney motioned for the DPAC to write a draft letter on the Bay-Delta Plan for the Commission’s consideration. Cox seconded the motion. There were no objections. (PLEASE NOTE…AS THIS ITEM WAS NOT LISTED ON THE AGENDA, THIS ACTION IS INVALID AND WILL NOT BE ADVANCED).

Looney shared that Restore the Delta is hiring two summer interns for work on air quality and harmful algal bloom issues.

9. Member Announcements and Next Meeting

Blodgett shared that the next DPAC meeting will tentatively be held on June 6. The meeting will include a Bagley-Keene training; therefore, there will be a virtual open for those that cannot make it in-person.

10. Adjourn

Anna adjourned the meeting at 6:46 PM.


Mariah Looney (past chair), Anna Swenson (current chair), Russ Ryan (Vice Chair), Aaron
Pellarin, Craig Watanabe, Gary Mello, Morris Lum and Jim Cox as DPAC members.

Bruce Blodgett, Kirsten Pringle and Blake Roberts-DPC staff

Gilbert Cosio-guest