Every five years, the Delta Science Program, under the wing of the Delta Stewardship Council, plans for its next five years of investments it wants to make in Delta scientific research. In December 2021, the Program released its next “Delta Science Action Agenda,” which lays out a set of research priorities based on management needs.
We at Restore the Delta stay abreast of Delta scientific issues since they are crucial to resolution and debate of ongoing Delta social, economic, and environmental issues. We have applauded the Science Program’s slow but steady efforts to build a social science role in Delta science affairs, as well as regularly commented on other science matters, from ecosystem restoration and toxic contaminant stressors, to harmful algal blooms.
Here is Restore the Delta’s latest comment letter on the latest draft Delta Science Action Agenda, 2022-2026.
From the letter sent January, 21, 2022
Fifty years of both agency-based and academic-based scientists working in the open waters, wetlands, rivers, and sloughs of the Delta has succeeded in neither achieving “One Delta, One Science,” nor the prevention of Delta smelt and Chinook salmon from facing extinction, nor resolved how best to handle and remediate major stressors, such as invasive invertebrates, toxic cyanobacteria emergence, legacy contaminants, and submerged aquatic vegetation. It makes little sense to raise one class of scientists above another—both groups of researchers have much to contribute to scientific enterprise and have done so for decades. In short, this lends a tone to the DSAA of unjustified scientific hubris, privileging of careerism, and seeming, if unintended, indifference to real concerns of Delta communities and residents.Read the full comments here.