The Bureau of Reclamation Announces the Recovery Act Award of a Cooperative Agreement between Mid-Pacific Region and Contra Costa Water District for Contra Costa Fish Screen at Rock Slough, California

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916-978-5100

For Release: November 05, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of The Department of the Interior, has issued a cooperative agreement award under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The $6.33-million award is for the Contra Costa Canal (Canal), Phase 2, Fish Screen Project at Rock Slough, where natural flows are intercepted from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) 4 miles southeast of Oakley, California, and diverted into the Canal.

Resident and migratory fish species, including the threatened Delta smelt and other threatened and endangered fish species, can be drawn into the system from the Delta.  The project will screen Contra Costa Water District's (CCWD) last unscreened intake and prevent Delta fish from entering the Canal through the Rock Slough intake. 

"The fish screen is a critical effort that will make great strides toward fishery protection in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta," said Mike Connor, Reclamation Commissioner.  "It's a fine example of cooperation between the Federal Government and the local entities of California."

The project could also add flexibility to Central Valley Project operations each year.  The screen helps fulfill requirements of both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Los Vaqueros Biological Opinion for the threatened Delta smelt and the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, Section 3406(b)(5), Fish, Wildlife, Improved Water Management & Conservation. 

The 48-mile Canal diverts water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta at Rock Slough and terminates at Martinez Reservoir.  The Canal, built by Reclamation in 1948, is a major water supply and delivery system for CCWD, conveying up to 130,000 acre-feet of water a year for irrigation and municipal and industrial uses.  Water is lifted 127 feet by a series of four pumping plants built by Reclamation in 1940.  The CCWD delivers water to approximately 50,000 people in central and eastern Contra Costa County in northern California. 

The CCWD has completed environmental permitting and is moving forward with this award to design and construct levees, build cofferdams, and install a temporary bypass pumping operation, which are needed to support the installation of the fish screen.  The CCWD anticipates completion of this phase of the project in 2009.  The overall project will be completed and in operation in 2010.

The ARRA funds represent an important component of the President's plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century.  Under the ARRA, Interior is making an investment in conserving America's timeless treasures  our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage  while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.

"With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on and on

Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force to work closely with Interior's Inspector General and ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency set by President Obama.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.