About the Interagency Ecological Program

The mission of the IEP is to provide and integrate relevant and timely ecological information for management of the San Francisco Bay‐Delta ecosystem and the water that flows through it. This task is accomplished through collaborative and scientifically sound monitoring, research, modeling, and data synthesis. The IEP addresses high priority management and policy science needs to meet the purposes of, and fulfill responsibilities under, State and Federal regulatory requirements. The IEP relies upon multidisciplinary teams of agency, academic, non-governmental organizations (NGO), and other scientists to accomplish its mission.

Who is the IEP?

The Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) is a consortium of nine member agencies: three State departments and six federal agencies. IEP also has several key partners. The IEP member agencies have been conducting cooperative ecological studies in the Bay‐Delta since the 1970s. The IEP relies upon these multidisciplinary teams as well as academic, non‐governmental organizations, and other scientists to accomplish its mission.

State IEP Member Agencies

Federal IEP Member Agencies

IEP Partners

Where does IEP operate?

IEP conducts scientific investigations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, its upper watershed, and out into San Francisco Bay. The habitats IEP samples include open water, wetlands, flooded islands, floodplains, rivers, and sloughs.

Why does IEP exist?

IEP serves several functions:​

  • Serves as the hub of a collaborative aquatic science network with a focus on Bay-Delta aquatic ecology while coordinated with the full watershed.​
  • Provides a scientific foundation for planning and management by using best available science and creating strong partnerships with other agency, university, and stakeholder science programs.​
  • Works with the Delta Science Program (DSP) to identify, track, and communicate Bay-Delta science simply and clearly.​
  • Inspires, engages, and fosters objective leadership and independent review of key management issues, including strategies to address scientific uncertainty and manage science resources to maximize the benefit to California citizens and their environment.

What does IEP monitor?

IEP has a vast network of scientists, boats, and sensors which work tirelessly to monitor the health of our unique Bay-Delta ecosystem. IEP monitors a wide variety of organisms and habitats such as young Chinook Salmon growing on the Yolo Bypass floodplain, six foot long sturgeon feeding in Suisun Bay, invasive clams in the mud of San Pablo Bay, microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton) that are critical to fish diets, and water quality, including concentrations of pesticides in the Delta.

Why are long-term monitoring programs valuable?

Long-term, continuous monitoring data are extremely valuable when evaluating the health of an ecosystem or species population. Often signals are highly variable and consistent data collection over long time periods is essential to establish overall trends in aquatic communities and habitats. Additionally, many ecological processes, like the effects from climate change, are only truly visible when looking at measurements over long time periods. IEP has some monitoring programs that are over 50 years old, providing valuable and unique perspectives on the status of our environment.