Paradise Cut Conservation and Flood Management Plan

Status Planning County San Joaquin
Project Type Non-mitigation Location 37.75252° N, -121.31620° W Map
Project Area (Acres) 2,500 Last Updated 17 July 2017

Project Identification

Prop 1-Y1-2015-012 SSJDC - Prop 1 Grant ID

Habitat Plan

ActivityHabitatSubHabitatAcresActivity StatusWater Regime
Restoration Agriculture Unknown/Unspecified 2,500 Planning/Scoping Riparian

Related Habitat Impacts

HabitatAcres LostType of Loss
No Data


Paradise Cut Planning/Scoping 2,500


DateTypeDescriptionSite Name
No Data


Contact Shasta Burns San Joaquin County Resource Conservation District Not applicable/Unknown


Restoration Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy $99,924

Related CRAM Assessments

Visit DateVersionSite NameWetland TypeIndex Score
No Data

Performance Criteria

StatusDetailsEvaluation Date
Original criteria Quantitative analyses of the habitat and flood risk reduction benefits of at least three promising restoration project opportunities 2020-03-01
Original criteria Conceptual plans for three promising restoration opportunities 2020-03-01
Original criteria Quantitative projection of the habitat benefits of a new flood bypass 2020-03-01
Original criteria Work plan and budget for completing CEQA 2020-03-01
Original criteria Conceptual plan and project description sufficient for CEQA analysis 2020-03-01
Original criteria Cost effective proposal for developing a new flood bypass 2017-03-01

Project Description

The purpose of this project is to advance plans for a new flood bypass that will reduce flood risk, improve habitat and maintain agricultural land along the San Joaquin River south of Paradise Cut. Urban and agricultural communities along the San Joaquin River are vulnerable to catastrophic flooding because the San Joaquin River through the south Delta is not large enough to convey the design flow, let alone the 100-year flood. During a different era with different climate assumptions, cities and farms leveed and armored the banks of the lower San Joaquin River resulting in significant habitat degradation. Expanding the floodway today to safely convey the larger flood events scientists now predict will keep communities safe and will also help preserve farmland and restore habitat for sensitive species. Over the last ten years the project team has successfully worked with numerous state and local entities to inform local stakeholders, evaluate the technical feasibility of the bypass, quantitatively model the impacts and benefits, and build broad support. Because building a bypass involves modifying a federal flood control facility to redirect flood waters, permitting will be very complex. This project will generate the information necessary to efficiently navigate that complex permitting process. The overall goal of the proposed project is to reduce flood risk while improving habitat and maintaining agricultural land along the Lower San Joaquin River south of Paradise Cut.
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How to Use the Habitat Development Curve

Habitat Development Curves (HDCs) are used to determine the developmental status and trajectory of on-the-ground projects to create, restore, or enhance California wetland and stream habitats. Each HDC is based on assessments of habitat condition for different age areas of one habitat type that in aggregate represent the full spectrum of habitat development. The assessments of condition are provided by expert applications of the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM). Visit the CRAM website for more information about CRAM.

For each HDC, reference condition is represented by areas of a habitat that consistently get very high CRAM scores, have not been subject to disruptive management practices, and exist within landscapes that are protected and managed for their natural conditions. The horizontal lines intersecting the top of an HDC represent the mean CRAM score and standard deviation of scores for 25 qualifying reference areas.

The age of a project is estimated as the elapsed time in years between the groundwork end date for the project and the date of the CRAM assessment. To add or update a groundwork end date, use the Project Events form in Project Tracker ( The minimum age in years of a non-project area, including any natural reference area, is estimated from all available local information, including historical maps and imagery, historical written accounts, and place-specific scientific studies of habitat development.

An HDC can be used to address the following questions:

  1. At what time in the future will the area of assessed habitat achieve the reference condition or other milestones in habitat development? The HDC can answer this question if the CRAM score for the assessed area is within the confidence interval of the HDC. The answer is the time in years along the HDC between the current age of the assessed area and the future date corresponding to the intersection of the HDC and the reference condition or other milestone.
  2. Is the area of assessed habitat likely to develop faster, slower, or at the same pace as most other areas of the same habitat type? The habitat area is likely to develop faster, slower, or at the same pace if the CRAM score for the area is above, below, or within the confidence interval of the HDC, respectively.
  3. What can be done to improve the condition of the habitat area or to increase its rate of development? HDCs by themselves cannot answer this question. Possible answers can be inferred by the following analysis that involves HDCs:
    1. Examine the HDC for each of the four CRAM Attributes;
    2. Identify the Attribute(s) scoring below the HDC;
    3. For any low-scoring Attribute, examine the component Metric Scores (note: the Metric Scores for any public CRAM assessment in the CRAM database can be obtained through EcoAtlas);
    4. Assume the low score of an Attribute is due to its low-scoring Metric(s);
    5. Consider modifying the design or management of the habitat area in ways that will sustainably increase its score(s) for the low-scoring Metric(s).

For more information about CRAM Attributes and Metrics, including their scientific rationale, see the CRAM Manual.

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