California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Ecosystem Restoration Program

What is the Ecosystem Restoration Program?

Ducks at sunrise on Putah Creek

Photo by Dave Feliz, CDFW

The Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) is a multi-agency effort aimed at improving and increasing aquatic and terrestrial habitats and ecological function in the Delta and its tributaries. The ERP Focus Area (JPG) includes the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Suisun Bay, the Sacramento River below Shasta Dam, the San Joaquin River below the confluence with the Merced River, and their major tributary watersheds directly connected to the Bay-Delta system below major dams and reservoirs. Principal participants overseeing the ERP are CDFW, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), collectively known as the ERP Implementing Agencies. The ERP implements restoration projects through grants administered by the ERP Grants Program. The vast majority of these projects focus on fish passage issues, species assessment, ecological processes, environmental water quality, or habitat restoration. The ERP is guided by the following six strategic goals:

  1. Recover endangered and other at-risk species and native biotic communities;
  2. Rehabilitate ecological processes;
  3. Maintain or enhance harvested species populations;
  4. Protect and restore habitats;
  5. Prevent the establishment of and reduce impacts from non-native invasive species; and
  6. Improve or maintain water and sediment quality.

CDFW's Role in the ERP

As the ERP’s State implementing agency, CDFW’s primary role within the program is to fund and manage grant projects within the ERP Focus Area to address the ERP goals and objectives. In addition, CDFW staff coordinates and collaborates with other local, State, and federal agencies to address the ERP goals and objectives.

Program Structure & Key Activities

The ERP’s principal activity is to manage funded grant projects within the ERP Focus Area. Project funding is provided by State water bonds, as well as cost share from federal and local partners. Staff collaborates with federal, State, and local agencies on the development of regional planning efforts, conceptual models, monitoring programs, and performance measures within the Program’s adaptive management framework. Partners, including stakeholders and other State and federal agencies, are essential to accomplishing shared Delta ecosystem restoration visions and goals. Key ERP activities include: