Restored Flooding for Living Deltas

United States – controlled flood diversion


Seasonal and permanent wetlands in California have often been drained and disconnected from rivers and waterways by levees, to form ‘islands’ intended for agriculture and urban development. Efforts are underway to restore wetlands to permanent and seasonal flooding in many parts of California, including San Francisco Bay, some coastal lagoons, and some sizable areas in the Central Valley Bay. As an example, the Yolo flood bypass contributes to restoring native ecosystems for fish and birds, improve water supply operations, and reduce flood risks. The economic productivity of land use and associated protection costs is an important consideration. Environmental restoration goals are sometimes preferred over safeguarding lower-value economic activities in the delta’s ‘islands’.

Highlights/key insights

Updated soon!

Click here to view the powerpoint slides as presented during the symposium

Additional information

Robyn J Suddeth, Jeff Mount, Jay R Lund (2010) Levee Decisions and Sustainability for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science 8(2).

Robyn Suddeth Grimm, Jay R Lund (2016) Multi-purpose optimization for reconciliation ecology on an engineered floodplain: Yolo bypass, California. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science 14(1).