California's Bay Delta, where freshwater from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers meets the saltwater from San Francisco Bay, has been mired in litigation and political controversy for decades. In the 2009 Delta Reform Act, the California State Water Board was ordered to conduct hearings to establish flow criteria to protect public trust resources in the Bay Delta. This article examines how the statutory deployment of the public trust in the 2009 Delta Reform Act built on the California Supreme Court's 1983 National Audubon decision, and details the California State Water Board proceedings leading up to the public trust Delta flow criteria adopted in August 2010.
51 Nat. Resources J. 35 (2011).