EBMUD’s commitment to environmental protection begins with our mission statement and continues through our many programs and services. Efficient use of water, a limited and precious natural resource in California, is an important step every Californian can take to protect the environment.
EBMUD's 1996 Watershed Master Plan, Range Resource Management Plan, Fire Management Plan and Habitat Conservation Plan (see PDFs below) are all major programs within the East Bay Watershed.
East Bay Fisheries & Wildlife
EBMUD biologists monitor fish, wildlife and plant species on East Bay watershed lands in accordance with the East Bay Watershed Master Plan and the EBMUD East Bay HCP. Fisheries and Wildlife biologists perform pre-project surveys and make recommendations to minimize or avoid impacts to sensitive species. Biologists conduct habitat assessments, population studies and other research to inform management of sensitive species on the watershed.
More than 28,000 acres of watershed lands surround Pardee and Camanche Reservoirs. A wide array of habitats support the diverse species that migrate through or live on this land, including healthy populations of bald eagles, osprey, waterfowl and thousands of salmon that return to the Mokelumne River to spawn. Careful stewardship allows life here to unfold in much the same way it always has.
To protect water quality, preserve resources long-term and to be responsible stewards of the public trust, EBMUD worked with neighbors, agencies and groups to craft its Mokelumne Watershed Master Plan which details the management direction for these lands.
EBMUD reaches out to students, teachers, and volunteers to broaden understanding, appreciation and use of watershed land. Programs focus on the natural and human history of the region. Rangers, wildlife experts and knowledgeable volunteers lead talks and guide hikes and boat tours. Volunteer work days provide opportunities for folks to help manage this vast and beautiful landscape.
After 20 years of trail building by staff and volunteers, more than 29 miles of Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail is complete across EBMUD land from Camanche to upper Pardee Reservoir. This trail represents about 10 percent of the entire Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail which is envisioned to link the Sierra Crest and the San Francisco Bay.
EBMUD monitors and manages biological resources in the Mokelumne River watershed, including the lower river. As part of efforts to manage the natural resources EBMUD is entrusted with, EBMUD biologists gather critical information needed to measure the success of environmental programs that boost natural habitat and protect wildlife. EBMUD tracks the numbers of salmon, for example, at various points in their lifecycle, including counts of salmon nests (redds), numbers of adult salmon that return to the river, and ocean-bound juvenile salmon counts.
EBMUD can best provide benefits to the Mokelumne River as a whole by working collaboratively with regulatory agencies and various stakeholder groups to implement enhancement projects. For example, by partnering with UC Davis, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, EBMUD has enhanced more than 1 kilometer of spawning habitat in the upper reach of the lower Mokelumne River. This improved habitat provides a high-quality area for adult salmon to build their nests. EBMUD also works with numerous landowners and stewardship groups to help acquire funding, equipment and materials needed for restoration projects. These local partnerships are essential if we are to meet our goal of an ecologically healthy Mokelumne River.
In 2012 and again in 2013, the Chinook salmon return to the Mokelumne River exceeded 12,000 fish each year, which is almost three times the long-term average on the river. This follows the 2011 record of over 18,000 returning salmon. This demonstrates a solid rebound of Chinook salmon on the Mokelumne River. EBMUD and its partners have worked to make the Mokelumne one of the most productive salmon rivers in the Central Valley, based on flow volume.
The increasing numbers of endangered California tiger salamanders at EBMUD-built ponds in the Mokelumne watershed are increasing optimism for the species' future. Habitat restoration for three endangered species was a key part of the federal Safe Harbor Agreement that EBMUD entered with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. California red-legged frogs, California tiger salamanders and Valley longorn elderberrry beetle will benefit from this 30-year agreement.
Since the agreement was signed, EBMUD built and rehabilitated eight shallow water habitats (ponds). Last February, staff found salamander eggs. After a recent survey, six known populations of tiger salamanders were identified; before the agreement there was only one.
In terms of area covered, the agreement is the largest ever, covering 28,000 acres of District-owned land in Amador, Calaveras, and San Joaquin counties. The agreement ensures that species habitat will be protected and enhanced through conservation and management activities. For more information contact Lodi Fisheries & Wildlife (209) 333-2095.
The PDF files below can be viewed and printed with Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free software.