The DSC expressed an interest in hearing what it could do to in the next five years about agriculture, recreation, natural resources, risk reduction, and anything else anyone wanted to mention.
Those speaking on behalf of the Delta included Melinda Terry of the North Delta Water Agency; Pete Kutras representing the Delta Counties Coalition; Katie Patterson of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation; reclamation district representative Eric Ringleberg of BSK associates; and engineer Gil Cosio of MBK. A summary of the issues raised:
- Protections for Delta landowners that include safe harbor agreements, good neighbor policies, and a secured endowment to cover any future claims for damages to property owners resulting from habitat restoration in the Delta.
- Willing sellers only for habitat.
- Policies supporting a net benefit to agriculture (in the form of increased crop values) from conversion of land for ecosystem restoration.
- Better use of land already purchased for habitat in recent years that is not now being managed for species protection.
- A long-term funding mechanism for dealing with nuisances associated with recreation and tourism such as littering, vagrants, theft, and public safety issues for private landowners.
- Respect for habitat conservation plans developed with great time and effort by locals agencies and for conservation efforts now underway.
- A Plan B of strategies to be implemented whether BDCP happens or not.
- Support for permanent continuation of the Delta (Subventions) Levee Program.
- Updated, on-the-ground research on individual levees and islands, including current risk and an inventory of what is being protected, since the levee system will be needed for a long time, regardless of what happens with conveyance.
- More emphasis on applied science, and a recognition that trading terrestrial for aquatic habitat may be good for permitting but bad for the Delta as a whole.