Fish Biology, Ecology and Protection

Science that addresses basic life history, behavior and population structure of Bay-Delta fishes and the factors that affect their distribution and abundance. Suggested topics include genetics, population dynamics, fishery management, migration and spawning behavior, trophic ecology, physiological responses to key environmental stressors, responses to drought, and science-based management strategies to protect fish populations. Presentations on engineering to support fish protection goals are also invited. Specific topics could include ecosystem restoration activities, the use of fish and drought barriers, fish screening technologies, fish passage facilities, and environmental water management.

Flood Management

Science that helps to improve flood management and its relationship to water supply, including the role of levees in ecosystem restoration, and different approaches for protection of habitats, water quality, water supplies, agricultural lands, and infrastructure in a changing environment.

Food Webs

Science that provides new insights into ecological and physical processes governing and connecting food webs in the Bay-Delta. Examples of topics include effects of variable and changing water quality from contaminants, sediment, nutrient inputs, species invasions, drought, and climate change effects. Science that explains how one or more of these factors influences Bay-Delta food webs is of particular interest.

Global Perspectives

Science that highlights connections or discrepancies between regional and larger-scale processes and their joint effects on the Bay-Delta ecosystem and management. Of particular interest is research that compares Bay-Delta systems and processes to those in other areas of the globe.

Human Consequences

New perspectives that assess the potential social, economic, and public health effects of actions and solution strategies implemented in the Bay-Delta system.  Specific topics include water resource economics, local partnerships, conflict resolution strategies, watershed groups, and environmental law in the Bay-Delta and its watersheds. 

Integrative Applied Science

Science that translates understanding of ecological functions and processes into effective science-based management strategies for the Bay-Delta system. Specific strategies include science-based decision-support tools, collaborative approaches, effective communication strategies, use of conceptual models, and adaptive management.


Science that employs numeric models to address complex resource management questions. Specific examples include studies that couple hydrodynamic, sediment, particle tracking, and water quality models with ecosystem models such as those for native species and Bay-Delta and riverine food web dynamics. Modeling applications might also include determining flow requirements needed to protect aquatic species, understanding nutrient and contaminant sources, transport and fate, assessing potential outcomes of water and fish management alternatives, and using modeling and predictive data analysis to better understand the effects of climate change.

Physical Processes

Science that improves the understanding of how physical processes such as climate change, hydrodynamics, sediment transport, and geomorphology may affect future actions within the Bay-Delta system.

Species and Communities

Science that advances the utility of monitoring programs (project and landscape levels), understanding and management of key species and their ecological functions and requirements in the Bay-Delta and its watershed. Key species include species of special concern, numerically dominant species, and nonnative invasive species.

Sustainable Habitats and Ecosystems

Science that provides new insights into the ecological and physical processes governing and connecting habitats in the Bay-Delta and its watershed. Lessons learned regarding more effective ecosystem restoration, protection, management and sustainability of riparian habitat, river channels, floodplains, flooded and in-channel islands, levees, wetlands, and terrestrial habitats. Topics could describe aquatic, terrestrial, or human ecosystem sustainability and the kinds of landscape characteristics that can be restored to re-introduce appropriate processes at the scales needed to sustain habitats.

Water and Sediment Quality

Science that advances understanding and management of key environmental and drinking water quality constituents and associated biogeochemical processes, and their ecological and public health effects in the Bay-Delta and its watersheds. Key water and sediment quality constituents include inorganic contaminants, organic contaminants, organic matter, salinity, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen.

Water Supplies and Instream Flows

Science that advances water supply management strategies to improve water supply and stream flow reliability (timing, frequency, duration, magnitude, etc.). Management strategies may involve operation/reoperation of water conveyance facilities, groundwater (including implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act), water use efficiency, water demand predictions, water transfers, and water storage options.


New perspectives to evaluate, plan, restore, and organize land management and other resource uses within a watershed to restore ecological health and improve water management by working with the community at a watershed level.