The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are developing a project to convert diked, subsided Delta islands to freshwater wetlands. This change in land use will stop ongoing subsidence and, over time, reverse past subsidence.
Such subsidence reversal also can reduce the risk of Delta levee failures by reducing hydrostatic pressure on levees and it can reduce the effects of levee failures by decreasing the volume of water flooding breached islands.
This project will also demonstrate the potential of freshwater wetlands to sequester atmospheric carbon via wetland plant photosynthesis and net retention of carbon within the wetlands. These wetlands will also provide some wildlife function, particularly for birds and also for reptiles and amphibians. These outcomes should generate significant economic and societal benefits.
WWR along with its partners USGS and DWR will collaboratively be responsible for site selection, implementation planning, regulatory compliance, studies preparation, construction monitoring and implementation of initial demonstration. The team will also conduct initial evaluations of demonstration wetland performance, optimization assessments and transferability.