Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Historical Ecology Study
Historical Ecology StudyThe San Francisco Estuary Institute-Aquatic Science Center, in collaboration with the California Department of Fish and Game, has completed a historical ecology study of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The project improves understanding of what the Delta looked like and how it functioned prior to the significant modification that has occurred over the last 160 years.
This historical reconstruction documents patterns of variation and extent of habitat types throughout the Delta for improved understanding of species support functions and controlling physical processes within the native landscape. Knowing how different parts of the vast historical Delta looked and functioned provides needed information for future restoration strategies.
Given the extensive changes to the Delta, the goal of the project is not to create a literal template from which to recreate the historical Delta. Rather the objective is to understand how large-scale restoration can support an ecosystem in the future Delta that reflects functions to which native species are adapted. This involves recognizing physical gradients along which ecosystems can adapt as the Delta continues to change.
Project StatusThe project was completed in August 2012.
Research continues in the Delta Landscapes project
Collaborator and FunderCalifornia Department of Fish and Game, Ecosystem Restoration Program
Download the Delta Historical Ecology ReportHigh resolution pdf (for printing) (253 Mb)
Medium resolution pdf (for screen viewing) (135 Mb)
Low resolution pdf (for screen viewing) (44 Mb)
Order a Printed CopyPrinted copies of the report, with dozens of rarely seen historical accounts, maps and photographs describing the Delta of the recent past, will also be available for $75 + shipping charges (available in early October) contact: email@example.com or 510-746-7355.
GIS DataDownload GIS data for ESRI ArcMap 10 (11 Mb)
These GIS data include Historical Habitat and Channel layers
Imagery developed for this project is also available through the California Department of Fish and Game:
Early circa 1900 USGS topographic quadrangles
1937 Aerial Photography
To gain access to the imagery in ArcGIS, use these LYR files