Delta Levees Special Flood Control Projects

The Delta Levees Special Flood Control Projects Program works directly with local agencies to provide critical financial assistance for flood protection in the Delta. This funding protects and enhances the economic, environmental and cultural resources in the Delta. The Program provides funding to safeguard public benefits, including roads, utilities, urbanized areas, water quality, recreation, navigation and fish and wildlife from flood hazards. The Program mitigates the habitat impacts of each project and ensures a net long-term habitat improvement in the Delta.

The Special Projects Program works closely with the Delta Levees Maintenance Subventions Program, as well as the Delta Ecosystem Enhancement Branch.

Who can participate in the program?

  • Levee Maintaining Agencies (LMAs)
  • Reclamation Districts (RDs)
  • Other government agencies responsible for levees in the Delta

Levee Maintaining Agencies (LMAs), Reclamation Districts (RDs), and other government agencies responsible for levees in the Legal Delta may apply for State funding either through the PSP process as described in the Program's current guidelines or by requesting a Directed Action.

Projects are periodically funded by the Program based on applications received that meet the goals and objectives for the Delta that are guided by the California Water Action Plan and the Delta Plan. The Program periodically publishes a List of Active Projects.

The review and selection process for the 2016 Projects Solicitation Package for Multi-Benefit Projects (PSP) has been completed. A letter with the results was sent to all participants.

Local Levee Maintaining agencies (LMAs) in the Delta have the opportunity under the Delta Levees Special Projects Program to assess the current conditions of their levees and develop a strategic five-year plan for rehabilitation of their facilities to a desired level of protection. DWR strongly urges all local agencies to request funding, complete and regularly update their five-year plans which are required for program applicants to receive other project funding.

The Special Projects program funds 100 percent of the first $50,000 spent on the preparation of a five-year plan and 75 percent of any costs between $50,000 and $100,000. The LMA is responsible for costs in excess of $100,000. Acceptable five-year plans must include an assessment of the district's existing levee system and a strategic plan to meet a desired level of protection. The plan must also identify risks to island assets, provide a long-term funding strategy, habitat mitigation and/or enhancement plans, as well as CEQA and other permitting requirements. An Outline of Plan Requirements is available.

To ensure protection of local and state interests in the Delta, the Delta Levees Special Projects Program was established in 1988 by the California State Legislature under SB 34 and later revised under SB 1065 (1991) and AB 360 (1996). Since its inception the Program has invested approximately $300 million in the Delta for flood protection and related habitat projects. The Program was authorized originally to address flooding on the eight western Delta islands, as well as the communities of Thornton, New Hope and Walnut Grove. It was expanded in 1996 to the entire Delta and to portions of the Suisun Marsh (approximately 12 miles of levees on islands bordering the Northern Suisun Bay from Van Sickle Island westerly to Montezuma Slough), as outlined in Section 12311 of Water Code.

Publications & Reports


Related Pages

Contact Information

For additional information, contact:

Jon Wright

Phone: (916) 480-5369 


Andrea Lobato

Phone: (916) 480-5367