Launches Largest Habitat Restoration Project in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
SOLANO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – January 16, 2019 – Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP), a private restoration investment firm, announced today that it is partnering with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) on a multi-benefit project known as Lookout Slough (https://ecosystempartners.com/lookout-slough/) that will result in the restoration and maintenance of approximately 3,400 acres of tidal habit in the Cache Slough region of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (the “Delta”). Through this innovative public-private partnership, EIP will restore 3,400 acres of tidal wetland in Solano County to mitigate the State of California’s impact on listed species like Delta smelt, while also providing flood protection for the region.
“We are proud to partner with DWR on a project that improves the environmental health of the Delta and in turn helps to protect the long-term sustainability of California’s water supply,” said EIP Managing Partner Adam Davis. “By using a pay-for-success contract model in which the state does not pay until we have accomplished vital project milestones, we are helping DWR achieve its goals by providing a practical solution to challenges that have faced the Delta for many years.”
According to DWR, the sustainability of California’s water supply is dependent on the environmental health of the Delta, the hub of California’s water supply that supplies two-thirds of the state’s population and millions of acres of farmland. The collaboration between EIP and DWR provides a cost-effective solution to environmental impacts caused by the operation of the State Water Project (“SWP”) by integrating habitat restoration and flood protection needs in a single large-scale project.
The health of the Delta smelt, a small fish species once prevalent in the Delta, is an indicator of the estuary’s well-being. This small fish species that relies on tidal influence benefits has been disappearing from the Delta at an alarming rate and is both a state and federally listed endangered species. As part of the Lookout Slough project, EIP is building over 3 miles of new protective levees in the Cache Slough region, a region identified by leading fisheries biologists as essential for sustaining and restoring populations of the Delta smelt, to enable the breaching of the existing degraded levee along the Yolo Bypass and the restoration of historic tidal influence.
“Lookout Slough will provide a host of lasting benefits including flood protection and the re-establishment of tidal habitat which is critical to supporting native fish,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “This project can serve as a model for future multi-benefit projects delivered by a strong public-private partnership.”
ABOUT ECOSYSTEM INVESTMENT PARTNERS (https://ecosystempartners.com/)
Ecosystem Investment Partners (“EIP”) is a private company investing in large-scale ecological restoration projects nationwide. EIP delivers the highest quality ecological restoration and conservation projects in the United States. Through its investment funds, it acquires, restores and permanently protects priority conservation properties, and sells the credits generated to customers who must offset their unavoidable environmental impacts.
Over the past decade, EIP has protected and restored regionally significant properties in the U.S.–providing both a return to investors and lasting environmental benefits. With $500 million in assets under management and over 57,000 acres owned, EIP is a national leader in large-scale ecological restoration. To date, EIP has developed 40 mitigation banks and a number of other restoration projects in eleven states, including over 43,000 acres of wetland restoration and 150 miles of stream restoration completed. EIP’s national footprint continues to expand with another 6,800 acres of wetland restoration and 117 miles of stream mitigation under permitting and construction in 2019.