NPR talks about the “historical ecologists” working in the Delta. They’re using old maps and journals to figure out what the Delta habitat was originally like.
Why? Because the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the plan to build a Peripheral Tunnels and drain the Delta for the benefit of south-Valley Big Ag, requires endangered species preservation. And that, the state reasons, requires more original sorts of habitat.
There is no science showing restoring the habitat while further draining the Delta will save endangered species. That’s the problem with the BDCP: It’s building a big, sucking straw definitely while saving species maybe.
Still, historical ecology sounds like an interesting field. Check out the Delta before and after maps on NPR’s website.