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Foundations in State Law

The Delta Levees Subventions Program was authorized in 1973 and reimburses local levee maintaining agencies in the legal Delta for a portion of their levee maintenance costs. Following the historic floods of 1986, the Subventions Program was expanded, and a second program, known as Special Flood Control Projects ("Special Projects Program"), was added in 1988 to provide state support for major levee repair and reconstruction work in the eight western Delta Islands considered critical to maintaining water supply.

Legislative Actions


  • CA Water Code §12314(c-d) from SB 34 (enacted March 11, 1988): Project plans shall include provision for the protection of fish and wildlife habitat determined to be necessary by the Department of Fish and Game and not injurious to the integrity of flood control works. The Department of Fish and Game shall consider the value of the riparian and fisheries habitat and the need to provide greater flood protection in preparing its requirements, and shall not approve any plan which calls for the use of channel islands or berms with significant riparian communities as borrow sites for levee repair materials, unless fully mitigated, or any plans that will result in a net long-term loss of riparian, fisheries, or wildlife habitat.

  • CA Water Code §12987(c-d) from AB 360 (enacted September 19, 1996): After the memorandum of understanding required pursuant to Section 12307 is amended as required by Section 78543, the Department of Fish and Game shall also make a written determination as part of its review and approval of a plan or project pursuant to Section 12314 and this section that the proposed expenditures are consistent with a net long-term habitat improvement program and have a net benefit for aquatic species in the delta. The memorandum of understanding in effect prior to the amendments required by Section 78543 shall remain in effect with regard to levee projects and plans until the memorandum of understanding is amended.

  • Excerpt from SBX7 1 Legislation, Ch 2 Delta Policy (c): Provided supplemental guidance for SB 34 program activities, provided $3 million to DFG for environmental construction projects, and required the preparation of an MOU between DWR, DFG, The Resources Agency, and The Reclamation Board to coordinate the agencies' involvement in carrying out the Program's projects.

  • CA Water Code §83002(b)(5) from 2009 (SBX7 1)(Highly excerpted): Pursuant to Section 75033 of the Public Resources Code, the sum of one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) to the department for the acquisition, preservation, protection, and restoration of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta resources in accordance with Section 75033 of the Public Resources Code. The department shall expend these funds pursuant to priorities that reflect the value of the resources and land uses protected by the levees to the state as a whole, consistent with the Delta Vision Strategic Plan. Projects shall be selected to improve the stability of the Delta levee system, reduce subsidence, and assist in restoring the ecosystem of the Delta. Priority shall be given to projects that improve conditions for Delta smelt and other native fish.