NRDC's Western Director Appointed to Delta Stewardship Council

California’s water future is a little brighter now that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed NRDC’s Western Regional Director Felicia Marcus to serve on the Delta Stewardship Council.  This is a new Council that was created last November, in the historic package of water policy reform bills supported by a broad coalition.  It is charged with developing an ambitious new plan for the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary, designed to restore this precious ecosystem, improve water supply reliability and address critical flood management challenges.

We at NRDC are particularly pleased and appreciate this appointment because NRDC worked long and hard to pass this legislation and create the Council.  The Bay-Delta is the largest estuary along the entire Pacific Coast, from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska – a resource of international importance.  It is also in deep trouble.  Its fisheries have crashed, leading to the closure of the state’s 150 year-old salmon fishery.  Climate change-driven sea level rise, land subsidence and earthquake faults put the Delta at risk of a Katrina-like disaster.  What is at stake here are dozens of Delta communities, hundreds of thousands of acres of farm land, California’s iconic commercial and recreational salmon industry, economic vitality, critically important water supplies and the health of an invaluable ecosystem.


The Bay-Delta is a unique place central to the history of the Golden State.  Few places face such daunting challenges.  A new direction, and a new plan, is required to rise to these challenges.

NRDC recognizes the importance of finding new solutions to our water challenges.  That’s why we’ve elevated protection and restoration of water resources as a new institutional priority, with a top goal of restoring the imperiled Bay-Delta estuary and meeting California’s water supply needs in an ecologically sustainable manner.  We aim to show that, just as California has served as a laboratory to develop new energy and climate solutions, we can develop the next generation of water management solutions.

Felicia is a perfect fit for the new Council.  In addition to being a widely respected environmental leader, she is a former regional administrator of the EPA, and former president of the Board of Public Works for the City of Los Angeles.  She knows California water issues inside and out and is devoted to finding solutions that work.  In the fractured world of western water policy, Felicia’s proven ability to work across traditional divides and interest groups bodes well for all of us.    

Related Issues
Fresh Water

Related Blogs