Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall wrote an op-ed this week for the California water blog, Water Deeply, in which he advocates for a greater connectivity in the Central Valley when it comes to water resources, and specifically the Sacramento River. Floodplains have historically acted as Nature’s Pantry, providing habitat and sustenance for waterfowl, fish, and other wildlife when rivers overflowed. As the Sacramento River has become more engineered for flood control over the last century, in combination with the recent drought, these floodplains have been optimized less.
Hall argues that by working together when it comes to water, the state can help the Central Valley provide for a multitude of species.
Ducks Unlimited and our partners are convinced this problem can be reversed and, if we desire to have healthy populations of salmon, smelt, waterfowl and the remainder of Sacramento River ecosystem constituents, it must be reversed. It is vitally important that we allow the food produced in the floodplain, along with the healthy growth of fish, to provide much-needed biological relief and support the sustainability of our rivers.
This can only occur by having water available for the floodplain and by encouraging water users and managers involved with the Central Valley’s water to provide functional and targeted flows that are directly tailored for specific purposes and benefits to “nature’s pantry.” Continuing to develop voluntary agreements, consistent with a functional flow approach, will ensure that this important work in the Sacramento Valley will benefit fish and wildlife.
Click here to read the entire piece.